Mothers’ Day was celebrated on Sunday and deservedly mothers were delighted with not only the symbolism of this day in terms of flowers, chocolates, a dinner or lunch out, scrumptious homemade or take away meals ordered just for ‘mum’.
These courageous and mighty women also received on this day genuine and heartfelt love the kind only a mother can command and inspire. On the flipside of these wonderful mothers are mothers who sleep on the job to the shameful and heart-wrenching detriment of the child. Granted, a mother needs all the support she can get in the current conditions; her role in the context of family has grown to become multifaceted over the years and it is compounded by the fact that she works longer, stays up late and wakes up early.
Today’s mothers particularly coordinate more than just their work diaries; they manage the home too. Without adequate support it means the children these mothers care for end up vulnerable to societal leeches like pedophiles, rapists, physical abusers and murderers. Children, mainly girls, but also including boys are molested, defiled and raped in the absence of and sometimes sadly in the presence of their mothers. The said thing is that the most often these leeches are reported to be people the children trusted; councilors (politicians), teachers, police, parents, uncles, fathers, girlfriend, mother’s husband and students; this list of possible perpetrators is endless.
Some of these perpetrators or filthy old men are repeat offenders who are being protected and shielded under the veil of culture. The bottom line is that out there today is a young girl under the tender age of 17 who is now pregnant; which means she has been exposed to sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS. This girl represents the screaming statistics of teenage pregnancies and school drop-outs; she is the reason why gender activists and feminists continue to voice-out on the sidelines despite the dwindling donor funding which is reducing their impact.
This girl’s future will now forever bear the scars of the torment of her experience which also played out in the public eye because her caretakers, including her mother decided not to focus their attention on the child’s best interests! These days a mother presents herself in different forms and fulfils various roles. There are mothers who have chosen to take care of children who are not naturally theirs; who have adopted children or opted to provide some form of guardianship for example the stepmother, grandmother and adoptive mother.
There is also the mother who is economically vulnerable who is present at all times with her child but can do very little to ensure the child’s upkeep or secure its welfare; a mother who feels helpless to do more and the best for her child or children; this mother may as well be absent despite her presence. This is the reason why there must always be continuous, vigorous and concerted efforts to empower the women and by extension, mothers of our communities. When women are empowered they are able to provide the safety net society needs to operate on full capacity.