On April 7th, 2022, Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed as the first black woman in the history of America to serve in the United States supreme court as associate Justice. For days, her speech has been ringing in my head. Of the many things she mentioned, she thanked her husband for being very supportive, and a pillar of her current achievement. For me, these words were quite affirming and reassuring. To know that a woman at 51, with two children, was still so much pressing on with pursuing her career, exhausting her potential, and her partner was very much in support. Once again, this is the kind of hope that still makes me believe I will have a life as a wife, mother, and career woman.
Looking at many women between 30 and 40 who are married, many are devastated. The peak of divorce is highest at this age window. A certain study puts the global filing for divorce percentage at 60% for women aged 25 to 39, and for Uganda, about 55% of women filing for divorce are between 25 and 54. I will stick to the common group between 30 and 40. When most women get married, it’s rosy. One feels like they are living a fairy tale. A few years down the road, they start to realize that they are living the husband’s life, the husband’s dream. Many men have a mental picture of what they want their life to be like, and so they project it onto the woman without ever caring to know how they feel about it or caring what their opinions are. They say, we will live in this town, have 5 kids and 2 dogs, you will pick the kids from school because at that time I have to catch up with the guys, we will have easter at my home, and I believe you can cook 730 meals a year.
Many men are at the point where they feel like they have done the woman a favor by marrying her, and so she must abide by the “rules”. This becomes another institution. I believe in dialogue, and reaching a common ground. Compromises from both sides towards a common goal. That’s what I think a family should be about.
Dear men, who you marry matters. They matter today, they matter when your kids are 5, they matter when your kids graduate, they matter when you die and they have to step up, and they matter for life. There is a new wave of young men who say they prefer to marry an illiterate girl from the village who is probably 19. The only reason these men are running to this is to elevate their egos. Because this girl will worship you, and she won’t tell you about her desires to pursue a Ph.D. at 45 or ask you about where their life is heading and the fact that they don’t feel as productive as before. But my question is always the same. When you build an empire, but fail to empower your woman to equate the same mentally……not just physically with flashy clothes and long fingernails. what will happen if you die in a road accident the next day? Will the legacy the maintained? or your children and grandchildren will end up in the same vicious cycle of poverty that your father and grandfathers worked hard to overcome all their lives. When you marry an educated woman and let her continue to grow in her sphere, it’s an investment for the both of you, and it’s an investment for your children.
About children, I believe the number one reason why Africa is bound to be stuck in poverty for a very long time has something to do with the number of children we have. why do you have 8, 10, 15 children? It doesn’t matter how big your bank account is today, I believe it would have been bigger if you didn’t have to spend close to 25 million every term to send your 12 children to school. Having many children is forever going to affect our finances, and it directly affects the productivity of the wife and her contribution to the family and her growth. Let’s say, that for every child a woman delivers, she loses close to 2 years of her life trying to settle this child into the world. If this woman is to have 5 children, we can confidently say she has lost at least 10 years of quality sleep, 10 years of profound career growth, and sacrificed 10 years of ever having a blank mind because her mind is always in a state of wondering if Alice has her foot stuck in her shelf? if Mary has locked Angella in the fridge again? or If the nanny fed all 6 of her children on time while she went to work. You will argue this out and say children are a collective responsibility for both the father and mother, but you have seen many men who don’t care. Men believe it’s the woman’s role to worry about all that for the rest of her life, and sadly some men believe that they are doing the woman a “favor” by providing for “her” (their) kids. We can not continue with this mindset.
I want to be a good wife, a great mom, and still be able to decide at 45 if I want to study aviation because medicine bores me or venture into something else. And I’m hopeful that my husband will be supportive like I will have supported him in all his endeavors ( except getting the second wife bit). I’m hopeful that at 35, my husband will ask me if I’m happy with the road my career is taking, and we will work this through together. The day this hope dies out, then I’m never getting married. Women want it all. the man, the money, the children, the career, the love, the respect, and the luxury. This possible to have it all.