It is the nature of Africa to denigrate the role of women, and this is a tragedy. For example, in marriage (where the bride’s dowry is based on head of cattle) she is not allowed to own property. Now that’s discrimination! So many talented women, capable of making extraordinary contributions to both family and society at large, are marginalized by tradition. Reading “A Woman’s Weakness” brought these distressing thoughts to mind in a touching, personal and riveting portrayal of Eva’s abuse at the hand of David her husband.
Spousal abuse is all too prevalent (and obviously not limited by socio-economics, color, or creed); but author Molly Gambiza shines a light on a different and troubling strain of this wicked unkind behavior. The principal characters in the book are from Uganda (as is the author, so she knows of what she speaks) and they have immigrated to England, in pursuit of a better quality of life. Sadly, Eva’s husband and mother-in-law insist on perpetuating the submissive role expected of Ugandan women–in England! In their attempts to do so, poor Eva (selflessly protecting the children) is subjected to a constant barrage of humiliation and physical abuse.
As a testament to the fortitude of the woman of Africa (Just try carrying a five gallon bucket of water on your head, walking to and from the river, with an infant strapped by a blanket to your back!), Eva finally finds solace and wisdom through personal sacrifice–and a long journey back to her roots. As for Molly’s writing style, I thoroughly enjoyed the spirit of Uganda radiating through her expression of the English language. It gave the book a distinctive voice which makes it all the more memorable. An Important Read!