Gender Injustice Destroys the Whole Family: One Child’s Experience -- By: Medad Birungi

Journal: Priscilla Papers
Volume: PP 21:2 (Spring 2007)
Article: Gender Injustice Destroys the Whole Family: One Child’s Experience
Author: Medad Birungi

Gender Injustice Destroys the Whole Family:
One Child’s Experience

Medad Birungi

MEDAD BIRUNGI is the founder and president of World Shine Ministries and lecturer and chaplain at St. Kakumba Chapel, Kyambogo University. Kampala, Uganda.

I have had a burden for women for about ten years, but, with my African background of marginalization and oppression of women, I had failed to stand alone and fight for equality until I discovered Christians for Biblical Equality. My burden for women was burning because of the oppression my own mother went through.

From a dustbin to a university lecturer—my childhood

I was born to a rich family on 16 September 1962 in a little village called Kakiri in Kitanga Kabale, Uganda. My parents were happy, and we were happy children. I came when my mother had produced girls consecutively, and she was being despised by the society, as women were despised in our Kiga tribe. She called me Birungi, which means “good things.” But shortly after that, my father prospered, and, as he became richer and richer, my dad had love affairs and developed lots of misunderstandings with my mother. He decided to punish her by marrying four other wives. He called my mother a demon, and we were called little demons. Chaos fell on the home.

We lost all financial and material support and love from our father. He became violent, and he totally rejected us. We became victims of domestic violence. Our father started drinking alcohol so much that he became violent. Since our mother was a rejected woman, she suffered violence from our father, and we, the children, were beaten, denied support, and discriminated against. We developed jealousy toward our stepmothers and stepbrothers and stepsisters. Our home became a miserable home. Because of the low status of women, my mother suffered because she had no defense. The Ugandan constitution and other traditional laws did not protect women, but commanded them to submit unconditionally. The church also taught submission and perseverance on the side of women, which the men liked because it was empowering the culture of male domination and women’s subordination.

When I was five years old, my father decided to migrate from Kabale, where we lived, to Bunyaruguru, which is two hundred miles away. He sold our land and plantations. On the day we were to go, we packed our belongings in the trucks, but, just before we could go, he removed us from the trucks and said he did not want to migrate with “problems.” Our dad called us “problems.” We cried and cried and cried, but in vain. He went into our house and brought a tin full of charcoal ash and poured it down, and it was blown by wind. He pronounced a curse, saying, “My children, I am not leaving you ...

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