Family interference

“I understand now the struggle my husband he has then, because he was aggressive to me wanting me to stay at home with nothing while he is not working, he has a pressure from his family that he can’t allow his wife to work”

“Being part of the project, it was helpful for me although I’m old but I have lot of problems in my homestead. And these happen because I was struggling to take care of my brother in law, who has a disability and who was also taking alcohol at the same time which made me feel powerless to deal with him. I know that he was using a lot of money buying alcohol instead of meeting his needs. Being part of the project, I learn how to deal with my challenges. Part of it I was able to go to SASSA to get an increase in his grant and I got it.

Because of the poverty I started to renew my vegetable gardens and ploughed them, planting vegetables. It helps me a lot. I have learned how to reflect in terms of how power works what gives others power and also why we are oppressed by men because of gender issues.

After we have a lot of discussion like the way we raise our children ,we divided tasks according to their gender and when people grow up special when men were not working it become a problem ,they become aggressive toward their partners. The project reminded me of my situation when I was working as a cleaner at the Government office at Mpangeni and my husband was not working, the negative pressure he got from family members saying allowing woman (umfazi) to work will make the woman disrespect you.

He was not explaining things to me he was angry with no reason. I remember one day I suppose to catch early bus in the morning, he locked the door and hide the keys. Another day he came to my work place and ask my boss to fire me and they refused telling him that we can’t fire your wife so he failed.

But later when I was retiring and I start renovating our homestead those people were knowing my struggle said I was strong because I did not give up.

Now I get a sense what was happening to my husband regarding issues of power and gender. Now I use the information to educate my sons and my daughters and the importance of using power with not power over, it’s not healthy if someone have something they are struggling with we need to be able to talk about it.