Objectified Women

abused woman

In Baho! by Roland Rugero, translated by Christopher Schaefer the author sets the story in Burundi. The story centers Nyamuragi, an adolescent mute who attempts to ask a young girl where he can find the bathroom. Since he is mute it is difficult to understand him and his gestures end up being mistaken for premeditated rape. The story then centers around the corruption in Burundi and the lack of respect that the women in Burundi have.

“In two months, six girls have been raped: two on the hill and four nearby. In two months, the rage of Hariho has simmered against potential rapists. Three men were detained, swiftly taken in as suspects. Eleven days passed before they saw freedom again. Two skipped town to Bu- jumbura. One stayed, and he is not in hiding. Perhaps he feels protected. The rapes come as no surprise, for there are still those who believe that young flesh cures AIDS” (24)

It is safe to say that the women in Burundi are treated as sexual objects rather than actual human beings. The high rates of rape show that the women in Burundi arent safe or respected. It is a very much male dominated culture where women are at mens dispoal without having a choice. The issue at hand is that there is never justice for the victims. Men are taken in and later are let go and are left to wander around town. Women are walking amongst their rapists which then gives men in Burundi the idea that there is nothing wrong with raping a woman beacause there is not repercutions to be dealt with. Rape is then normalized and women have to cope with their own traumas in Burundi.

In the same crowd, there is a woman who measures almost six feet two inches. She was run out of the house by her husband for being too tall. The strict man of the house preferred to bring another, shorter woman (that is to say, more pliable) under his roof. In the meantime, the unfortunate first wife got her share of blows and insults. She had an infinitely more galling fault: She was too old” (33).

The women in Burundi are also often left by their husbands for “better women” there are constant stories of women having to deal with a man’s abuse when he eventually ends up leaving her anyways. The idea that women have to put up with the abuse is detrimental in Burundi as women are left to pick up the pieces of their own trauma. Ultimately the women in Burundi must console each other and find ways to cope in Burundi because the men are not understanding of what they are going through. The corruption and lack of respect for women are what keep women at the bottom in Burundi as they are not taken seriously and are not seen as human beings.


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