Women Empowerment Through Trees


Wangari Maathai did not seek to excuse or to forget the legacies of colonialism. But as the decades passed she grew increasingly frustrated with the enduring factionalism and opportunism among the continent’s male rulers. “Fifty years down the road we ought to be doing things differently,” she said in an interview recently. “You cannot blame corruption in Africa on colonialism. You cannot blame [colonialism for] the excessive luxurious lifestyles that African leaders assume. You cannot blame [it for] the mismanagement of the economy or the fact that we have not invested adequately in education. Yes, colonialism was terrible, but we ought to be moving away from that by now.”

Inevitably the targets of her wrath struck back, sometimes literally. She was beaten up several times and dismissed as a “crazy woman” when protesting against the policies of the Kenyan dictator-turned-President Daniel arap Moi. Her husband divorced her in the early 1980s, accusing her of adultery. Wangari Maathai suggested that the real reason was that she was “too educated, too strong, too successful, too stubborn and too hard to control”. It was a reputation she did nothing to dispel when the divorce court found against her: she accused the judges of being “either incompetent or corrupt” and was promptly sentenced to six months in jail for contempt (only to be released three days later after she agreed to “apologise”)......Read More

 

Source: Telegraph


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