Women have over the years been facing numerous challenges as a result of falling prey to social ills in our society.
The misconceptions people have towards the distinction between men and women have had negative implications in the psycho-social being in humans.
A majority of women have the view that men were born cheaters, they cheat today, tomorrow and will cheat for the rest of their lives.
For some, not all men are cheaters; some were born faithful and will remain faithful in their lifetime.
It is from such misconceptions that, on a lighter note, portray women to be treasured gold or “sacred” beings that were not necessarily created to commit sin.
Of course women are the most treasured beings and must be commended for the different roles they play in both on a family level as anakubala (mothers) and some other roles.
But because of negative perceptions people have, women fall victim to social ills because men are regarded as “powerful” beings that can do anything.
For example, when a man has been caught cheating, not once, but on several occasions, there is always a 90 percent possibility he will be forgiven by the spouse.
In the same case, a woman once caught cheating on her spouse is likely to be divorced, except for a minimal number of cases as it is considered a deadly, unforgivable sin.
Catherine Mkandawire, an activist based in Mzuzu says there are various reasons women face negativity when they commit offences.
She points to culture as the biggest cause, saying there are some cultures that have negative implications on women.
Mkandawire says such culture often leads to the women feeling inferior to permit men commit hideous atrocities behind the curtain and society perceiving it as normal.
“I will give an example of where I come from. A man is required to pay for what they call damages. Once it is paid, expectations are that the woman must abide by the rules of the husband and she has no say on most crucial issues,” she says.
She says in such circumstances, when the husband cheats, it is no big deal because she paid damages for the woman and ‘owns’ her.
Mkandawire further says some religions are also to blame for the social ills.
She observes that even in the Bible, women were portrayed as ‘second-class’ and are heavily regulated which restricts them from doing anything in society to the point of censoring their dressing.
“When you go back to the story of Adam and Eve, there have been numerous views that Eve was the one who sinned more when, actually, it was both of them if you critically look at the whole scenario,” she says.
Gift Trapence of Centre for the Development of People (Cedep) also shares the same sentiments with Mkandawire and says our society has been entrenched in patriarchy.
He says men have always been mortalised as powerful, hence, cannot be victims of circumstances compared to women.