Who we are
My name is Docile Munguakonkwa, I am a counselling psychologist from the Democratic Republic of Congo. My society is patriarchal where women rights are neglected.Growing up, so many women had to endure many kinds of discrimination and abuse in the name of respecting the culture. I used to think that a man beating his wife was right because in my neighbourhood, there was an ex-military middle aged man who had married a teenage girl-something that is common in my country, he used to beat her almost every day and her cries would fall on deaf ears from the neighbours. The fact that nobody dared to intervene puzzled me a lot since I was still young to understand, every time I asked if it was right for a man to beat a woman, the answer was always the same, ‘’It is their issue, let them be’’.
Today, so many men still do the same and women have to deal with it as if it’s normal. Teenage girls are encouraged and trained to become good wives for their men, very few are encouraged to persue education and follow their dreams, this is only the privilege of the men yet we are in the 21st century.
In so many villages parents choose to put their boys to school and girls are left with no choice apart from getting married and endure all the mistreatment, disrespect as well as the consequences of premature marriage…
Every time am told a story about a young girl getting married, I feel really bad about it, I always feel another life is going to be ruined because of culture.The girls usually end up being mistreated and left alone in poverty with their children, in some other cases young girls are killed by their abusive spouses and their families choose to keep quiet.
I believe that culture can be wrong and misleading sometimes. We all deserve to be treated with respect and dignity no matter our gender.
A culture that’s hurting its people, is not a culture to be kept.
I want to see a country where women and men are being given the same rights and opportunities , a community where we encourage peace in our families rather than encouraging violence .
A country where young girls are empowered and given the opportunity to study and work, pursue their dreams in order to contribute to the development of our country as well as their own well-being , this is why we formed Tumaini Foundation.