A Woman is Like a Tea Bag – You Can’t Tell How Strong She is Until You Put Her in Hot Water: The Case of Yar Majak Arol Kachuol
By David Deng Chapath, Kampala, Uganda
March 31, 2017 (SSB) —- In this article I would like to congratulate Yar Majak Arol Kachuol who made me proud for waiting until she completed her degree and getting married as she and her parents want.
I would therefore like to say congratulation to her for killing two births with one stone. She has gone through modern education and at the same time getting married in accordance with traditional way which makes her parents proud.
Accepting to be married in traditional way in which parents ‘ decisions is the centre to the choice of husband for a bride and bridegroom, Yar has proved that education for girls is not bad as many people think.
Traditionally as seen in Dinka culture, majority of women who are educated are viewed with disdain or with extreme contempt. This is because majority of Dinka men like any other cattle keeping communities such as Nuer Community of South Sudan and, Masaai and Pokot of Kenya don’t desire to have educated women.
The reason for them not wanting to get such women is due to the fact that they believe that educated women are stubborn and partly do not respect men or at worst are seen in Dinka culture as prostitutes.
However, the example of Yar proves beyond reasonable doubt that educated women can still make good women and good children to their parents. This further shows that patient pays as seen in the case of Yar Majak who is the subject of this article.
In fact, Yar has proved that a woman is like a tea bag that you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water. As it been observed on the strength of women, any time women come together with a collective intention, it’s a powerful thing. It is important to note that whether it’s sitting down making a quilt, in a kitchen preparing a meal, in a club reading the same book, or around the table playing cards, or planning a birthday party, when women come together with a collective intention, magic happens.
Women are sources of change and development. Thus, as the former General Secretary of the UN, Mr. Ban Ki-moon pointed out, “Countries with higher levels of gender equality have higher economic growth. Companies with more women on their boards have higher returns. Peace agreements that include women are more successful. Parliaments with more women take up a wider range of issues – including health, education, anti-discrimination, and child support”.
Importantly, we have learned from Yar that a woman can pursue her education to the bachelor degree level and at the same time get a good husband. Therefore, after finishing her studies, Yar is now married to a good husband in Gok Community, which leaves her former suitors or lovers feeling inferior and at the same time with guilt of not being serious with her.
Hence, Yar, by getting married to Robert Malok Chithiece, who is one of the respected members of Gok Community, she has shown that girls are strong and respectful as they can still be married within their community though educated, thus, changing the traditional perception of dislike of educated women in cattle keeping communities like ours.
In summary, it has to be pointed out that Yar has thought like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness. She, therefore, is a great woman in our Gok Community.
What I want to just add is that we the Gok members wherever we are are happy with Yar and we appreciate her. We urge all girls in our community who are in school at various levels to take the example of Yar so that they are able to finish their studies and at the same time get good husbands.
In doing that, I believe the girls will have killed two birds with one stone by getting modern education and also respecting our culture. Hence, the patriarchal society (that is, a society, which is dominated by men) will not have a room to deny them education. We, therefore, appreciate Yar for what she has done to and in Gok Community.
NB//: the author is South Sudanese student residing in Uganda and can be reached through: firstname.lastname@example.org
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