"As a man, you need to discipline your wife...touch her a bit, tackle her and beat her to streamline her"- Onesmus Twinamasiko, MP, Bugangaizi East following comments by Museveni that men who beat women are cowards and should face the full wrath of the law pic.twitter.com/yhoEVRk212— Patu™ (@AyamPatra) March 11, 2018
Ugandan Member of Parliament Onesimus Twinamasiko has come under intense scrutiny and has been asked to apologize for publicly suggesting men should “beat” their wives.
“As a man, you need to discipline your wife. You need to touch her a bit, you tackle her, beat her somehow to really streamline her,” Twinamasiko said to Ugandan television channel NTV.
Twinamasiko’s comments came in response to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s statement, in which he called men, who beat their wives, “foolish and cowardly” and urged people to speak against domestic violence.
The lawmaker opposed the president and called his statement an “error.”
Twinamasiko’s sexist and patronizing statements have cause uproar from human rights activists and social media users.
“Mr Twinamasiko should make a public apology to all women who have experienced violence,” Diana Kagere of the Center for Domestic Violence Prevention told BBC.
“He should do the honourable thing and withdraw that statement. It's really a shock that a member of parliament would justify violence in any way. This is about crime.”
The short clip, which showed Twinamasiko making the preposterous comments, sparked calls for him to resign.
Outraged Twitter users used the hashtag #OnesmusTwinamasikoMustResign, calling on the lawmaker to step down.
It’s disgusting how violence against womyn is tolerated and perpetuated - and by all of you! This system is what allows men like that to say things like that. But they don’t end at saying! They beat, assault and harm womyn and y’all just watch! #OnesmusTwinamasikoMustResign— T????a (@triciatwasiima) March 11, 2018
Womyn continue to be disposable in this country. Time and time again, your silence, words and actions have proven that you care nothing for the safety and humanity of womyn. Onsemus Twinamasiko saying what he said represents majority of the society. #OnesmusTwinamasikoMustResign— T????a (@triciatwasiima) March 12, 2018
He should be on the receiving end, then he would know what it's like. First he should be fired from his career! He is the filth of the earth with no respect towards God's precious creations!— Ford Truck (@FordTruck19) March 12, 2018
I unreservedly think #OnesmusTwinamasikoMustResign - in this day and age, there is absolutely no justification for gender based violence and wife battering. This man, akin to Ronald Kibuule - is a disgrace to the company of #Ugandan men. Sir, you are DIShonorable, SHAME ON YOU.— Brian Ssennoga (@bssennoga) March 13, 2018
#OnesmusTwinamasikoMustResign— Hilda Twongyeirwe (@twongye) March 13, 2018
Pathetic remarks frm Member of Parliament who is supposed to lead by exampl.
When I showed my 18 year old daughter Onesmus caption on TV, she asked me; "Mom, did he really say this and in public? He is not a fool." But there we are. @CynthiaNyamai
Unfortunately, violence against women is a prevalent issue in Uganda. Nearly 38% of women in Uganda between the ages of 15 to 49 experienced physical or sexual domestic abuse, according to a 2016 Demographic and Health survey. Moreover, more than 68% of women were reported to be scared of their partners.
Twinamasiko also attempted to justify his sexist statement, using his own marriage and wife. Predictably, it triggered even more backlash. .
"I don't mean beatings which cause injuries or death - but a slap - I would feel fine! Because it's calling me to order. We would sit down and sort it out,” the lawmaker said, in an interview with BBC Focus on Africa.
"I was slapped once by my wife and it was OK with me, because we sorted out our differences. I also slapped her once. She had wronged me.”
Again, Twinamasiko failed to understand that domestic abuse, regardless the gender of the perpetrator, is unacceptable.
In response to the Twinamasiko's bizarre clarification, Kagere said, "We believe there is no violent solution whatsoever. You never know how far a slap can go."
Kagere also suggested other means to resolve problems, such as "time out, speaking out and finding amicable solutions.”
"As a couple they can go for couple's counselling," she said of the lawmaker’s marriage. "Many men... their own inner pride stops them from seeking our services, but we want to encourage them that it's OK to reach out for support in this matter. But the fact is that it is usually the man [who is the one] with power and authority who beats his wife."
Due to certain cultural traditions in a number of African countries, wife-beating is still considered a justifiable act. In a 2016 blogpost, Luc Christiaensen, an agriculture economist in the World Bank’s Jobs Group, stated 51 percent African women said it's OK for a husband to beat his wife if they “go out without permission, neglect the children, argue back, refuse to have sex, or burn the food.”.
Even in this day and age, due to rampant patriarchal societies in many African countries, women, it appears, are seen as subjects for men to use and abuse, thereby, enabling men like Onesimus Twinamasiko to easily get away with sexism, that too, on a public platform.
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