The gender fight has for long been directed at men. But women are a part of violence, including bullying fellow women.
The fight will be partly over when women that climb the corporate and political ladder for instance learn to throw down a rope to others, realising the need to be collective and not view them as competitive threats.
Though most stompers are men, women choose other women as targets more than 70 percent of the time, observes Gary Namie, research director for the Workplace Bullying Institute- an American organisation that works to improve workplace environments.
He states: “The reason is probably some idea that they can find a less confrontative person or someone less likely to respond to aggression with aggression.”
Malawi Law Society (MLS) vice-president Tadala Chinkwezule says when women support each other; they have no choice, but to excel.
She argues that women need to give positive criticism and not be bent on bringing women down.
She says cases where women are violent against women are common and very unfortunate. This, she says stagnates development.
Citing the political arena where women demean each other on public platforms, the work place, businesses and in home localities; she condemns the act with utmost firmness.
Legal counsel for Women Legal Resources Centre (Wolrec), Kumvana Mlumbe observes that women are not a special species that cannot act the way men do and that a group of women does exist that act violently or bully others.
She, however, notes that women have become more supportive due to the activism taking place.
Mlumbe say there is need to be realistic, as today’s world is one of capitalism, hence, competitive.
If women want to rise, they should understand the need for competitiveness with men and each other.
Stressing, however, that women are each other’s role models, Mlumbe explains that maltreatment of the lesser makes it difficult for women to look up to fellow women and that the dream of uplifting each other will be easier if ill-treatment does not happen.
Happy Kayuni, associate professor in the department of political and administrative studies at Chancellor College, observes that women don’t really hate fellow women, but the system they are in, influences their behaviour.
He said Malawi was very patriarchal and certain women believe in these patriarchal systems that they scorn fellow women to stand and achieve great things in life.
“Culture dominates the social political setup of it all, it dictates the women’s behaviour,” he said, adding it was a dominant factor he came across in one of his gender studies research.
He says targets and approaches of 50:50 campaign messages for example should not only target men, but women as well.
Mercy Kasito, founder of Mended Hearts and Girl code movement says jealousy which reign supreme among women than men is the reason for continual bullying and stomping of fellow women.
She says it’s easy for a man to know his friend is going through a tough time and pick him up than for a girl to do that for another.
Kasito observes that if women help each other become better, it would make a nation better, condemning facets of jealousy
She calls for the spirit to motivate and encourage, if one has done better, arguing that whatever good that is invested in someone, one should look at the life ahead. n