Monday, December 22, 2008
The last two weeks I have spent training Zambians not to beat their wives and entertaining instructors from the US. I'm not joking about the not hitting your wife thing. It seems that it is traditional for men to beat their wives as a sign of affection. At least that is what the men believe. They also believe that the women expect it and would be suspicious if their man did not beat them regularly. Great system huh? So I have my work cut out for me. BUt so far I am making some headway. I have been on a media blitz tour in order to get out the message that you cannot beat your wife, even if the beatings are only once a month. I have been on call in radio shows, all three newspapers have interviewed me several times and I even appeared on "Kwacha Good Morning" Zambia's equivalent to the "Today Show". It is kind of funny because people have come up to me and said they had seen me on the show. I am known as the American "GBV guy". But don't worry blogettes, if I turn sideways I can still get my head through most doors.
My first two training programs were very successful and I look forward to continuing the process. My women students have also reassured me that they do not believe they need to be beaten in order to feel loved. So only time will tell what impact, if any, the program will have.