When financial burden weighs heavily on women

Saturday January 26 2019


By Hellen Nachilongo

For years, society has been expecting women to be juggling family obligations and to push for their own advancement.

However, there is also a new trend, which is creeping where some men are nowadays expecting women to shoulder the family’s entire financial burden and simultaneously juggle it with being a wife and a mother. This approach is not working because it expects too much from already-overburdened women.

Though there is gender equality, the vital role of a workingman in every society is to provide and be supportive of the family than to let a woman singlehandedly shoulder all the financial responsibilities. Roles should be shared.

A cross section of Dar es Salaam residents spoke to Woman and pointed out that in normal circumstances, men should always work hard to support their family.

According to them, working men who overburden women are selfish and lacked good foundation when growing up or were raised from broken homes. And they seemed to agree on one point...“Nowadays conflicts in marriage, divorce and bad behavior of children are rising because women are taking working mens’ responsibilities instead of taking care of the children.”

Occupational Safety and Health Authority (OSHA) employee Mr Alfred Schechambo said financial factor should be the greatest reason why women could carry the burden otherwise men should provide.

Explaining further, Mr Schechambo said that if a man is working and is financially stable, it is his responsibility to support the family…. Women should contribute only when men fail to meet certain obligations due to financial strain but should not be overburdened.

“Their role is to bear children and take care of them…. Unless if a man is not financially stable or not working it is a woman to carry the burden,” he said.

He said women were created to look after the children therefore; workingmen who overburden women make them feel inferior because they were not born to provide…. “Overburdened women are not happy in their relationships.”

“The utmost honour and duty of a man in life is to support, love, protect and provide for his family. There is no greater love than the one a woman gives to a man. There is no greater gift in life than when a woman bears a man’s children,” he said.

Mama Eliza, a vegetable vendor and resident of Ubungo said she finds it okay to carry the burden because in life there are some ups and downs.

“Men are unpredictable they can change at any time, women should not be afraid to carry the burden in order to hide the shame in marriage, for instance when visitor comes to your home and the house is not complete they tend to point fingers at the women.

Mama Eliza explained that when she was young, her father was working but he was not supportive of the family and instead her mother ensured she went to school, never missed meal and dressed well.

She added that if her mother had not worked hard, she would not be where she is at the moment therefore, if a working man is not responsible, the woman should carry the burden because some of the men are irresponsible.

All women have the desire to get married and to be wives, mothers but when men refuse to accept their responsibilities, they get dissolutioned.

A Kinondoni resident, Mr Eliuta Mbliniyi, a civil servant said it is wrong for working men to overburden women…” it is known in our African custom that a man is the head of the family.”

According to him, it is just unfortunate that working men were spending their money to drink.

“To bring peace in their families, women should not be overburdened, unless the two agree to share the responsibilities in one way or the other,” he said.

Maria Nyange an employee in one of the private firms in Dar es Salaam, said even in our religious books (Quran and Bible) it is written that men are providers of the family and women are receivers and implementers of issues.

“A man is the head of the house therefore; those who are overburdening them are irresponsible.”

Modesta Kimonga, a psychologist based at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) explained that mob psychology was among other contributing factors that enable working men to overburden women.

Nowadays it has become a normal practice for some men not to provide for their families due to peer pressure.

“During interaction they discuss several issues including relationships and marriages.”

According to her, “it is something that has be entrenched in them, most men lack foundation to raise their family because they were raised in broken marriages therefore, if a child is raised in a broken home, he cannot be a good father when he grows up.”

In view of this, she said it is very important to be raised by both parents because they play a big role in families, this is because most children learn from their parents.

Children should have role models when growing up so that when they grow up, they become like them unfortunately, most of them lack models.

Dr Kimonga said that currently a lot of marriages are breaking because some men fail to be responsible and set good foundation for marriages to bring good results.

“Bad foundation in marriage brings bad results therefore families should unite to make good foundation for their children when they grow up.”

Divorce is not healthy for the family life. But it happens. Divorce is claimed to be the main reason behind broken families.

The common dispute between couples is the financial issue.

When the parents get divorced, usually either of them or sometime both of them leave home. Then the absence of either or both the parents will affect the family administration, then family become broken.

Divorce is the hardest challenge that can happen to a couple especially if they have children.

It is painful for the husband and wife to finally end their marriage but they are two mature individuals who are strong enough to handle changes in their lives and it is even sad when finances play a big role in this.

The impact of this turn of events in a family’s life is more devastating on the children. In the long run, they might grow up to be irresponsible adults overburdening their partners.