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Doreen Nyanjura: The Stereotypes That Women Are Supposed To Be Housewives Needs To Change

While appearing on The Fatboy Show today, Kampala Deputy Lord Mayor, Human Rights and Women Activist Doreen Nyanjura advised men to recognize that women's roles have changed from being housewives to being competent members of society.

She first expressed her thoughts via Twitter where she said that in relationships, men like women can do house chores, as it is not the sole responsibility of women.

“Men can cook just as women do, women are not born with cooking skills, they learn them. Cooking, washing isn't a preserve for women,” Nyanjura tweeted.

Nyanjura explained that having witnessed gender inequality among women which has happened since prehistoric times in education, politics and family, she is drawn to fighting for change and gender equality.

“When education was introduced, it was only for the boys and girls who were supposed to stay at home. It took a fight with some women for girls to start getting admitted at school. And when they went to school they were being taught how to be housewives with knitting and home economics which wasn't being taught to the boys.”

Nyanjura added that men on the other hand were being taught how to defend their country and make money. “Even in politics, the men were leaders and women’s voices were represented by their husbands.”

She continued, “Even in situations where a woman and man are working, when the man comes back home at 3pm, and the wife at 9pm, the wife is expected to return and do the cooking, utensils, breastfeed, and watch the kids. So I am saying this is absolute nonsense. Women are not born with these skills, women learn them and men need to do the same.”

However, Fatboy asked the Deputy Lord Mayor why a bachelor like him would need a wife when he would still end up doing the home chores that he could just get a maid to do.

However, Nyanjura asked Fatboy whether he was looking for a partner or househelp. “A partner means we are going to plan together. For example, if we are going to do construction, we should both be able to contribute 50 percent. If it's giving birth to children, the same effort should be put in by both parties in raising them. And in times of need, you'll want a person who will be there for you when you're sick. You cannot do that with a maid. I don't want a husband because the word has been overly abused. I want to have a partner where we are going to do everything together and my man won't see me as a maid,” she added.

On the contrary, Fatboy commented on how he believes sharing such tasks may make a woman fail to respect her husband and perceive him as weak when he doesn't express his assertiveness as a dominant character in the relationship.

“So you are trying to show your assertiveness by refusing to wash plates? That is absurd, why are you not showing it in other areas? For example if I am fighting for change, I need a man to show that he's assertive by fighting for change in this country not by refusing to wash plates because what nonsense is that?” Nyanjura argues in response.

“I think men need to understand that times have changed. The business of telling us men cannot cook when they make the highest percentage of chefs in restaurants and hotels doesn’t make sense. Because how can you be fine out there cooking for other women but you can't do the same for your family? Does it make sense to you?” the activist asked Fatboy.

“These are stereotypes we need to change and challenge and the time is now,”she concluded.

The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive and Sarah every weekday from 6am to 10am on RX Radio.

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