Women are Women- Everywhere

In the small town where I was a volunteer, women wear long black synthetic sheets of fabric wrapped complicatedly around their bodies. The way it's wrapped creates a hood that can be easily pulled together around their mouthes and noses in the event that a man appears.

These women are great mothers and superb caretakers. Everyday they clean their entire house, prepare four homemade meals for their families and even find time to pray five times. To the outsider, these women are uneducated and oppressed. An insider knows differently.

One Saturday evening, me and about 10 of these women were gathered in the town youth center for our weekly "Women's Cafe." Just one night a week, we gathered with cookies, cakes and drinks to chat, listen to music and even dance. Women's cafe was always a good time, but something was in the air on this particular night. High on sugar, we were dancing and having a grand time.

All the sudden, the end of the room closest to the chalkboard bursts into uncontrollable laughter. Curious what the commotion was about, the rest of us look to find a woman pointing at a drawing on the chalkboard. A middle-aged mother of three wearing a pink hijab had drawn a pornographic image of a man and woman on the board. Let's just say that it was not the most banal of positions.

As I stare open-mouthed, she erases the woman and draws a dog in her place. At this, the entire room goes into hysterics and women are practically rolling around on the floor with laughter. There was nothing to do, but join in the fun. I laughed and we continued our little party.

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“Sunset at the Railroad” by PCV Nicholas Baylor Hall. Namibia, 2011.