Winnie Byanyima, the Oxfam director and wife to the opposition stalwart Kizza Besigye has become the latest victim of social media backlash after she tweeted saying the cultural practice of women kneeling as a sign of respect is unfair and a humiliating ritual.
Kneeling while greeting is one of the rituals in many Ugandan cultures which women and sometimes men use to show respect to older/greater men and women while greeting.
It is something that has existed in the African traditdional society for so many years. However, Byanyima says the ritual should be stopped and shouldn’t be existing in the 21st century.
“Neighbour Leonarda kneels down to greet me. I tell her not to kneel, but she insists that a young woman must show respect by kneeling to greet older women and men. I don’t agree, boys don’t kneel. How do we stop this humiliating ritual?” Ms Byanyima posted on social media.
However this evoked backlash from her followers who started roasting her there and then.
@matthew_5 replied to her tweet, “ Noohh. You do not need to stop it if it’s a way of showing her respect to u,”
“A handshake would do – we would show each other respect and acknowledge our equality as human beings,” Byanyima responded.
Other responses to her tweet
Omongole Ronald Thomas: Madam feminist…it is ok for Anslem to behave like a girl, that is your issue but African traditions and cultured please leave us alone instead focus on pressing issues like poverty, hunger, civil wars and so on
Jonathan Ssemanda: Okey, you urinate while standing because we do. Sometimes we have to accept nature, woman can never equal a man.
Ben Ben Bambi: I didn’t know she had some stupid thoughts in that water melon….. Anyway. Just to educate her.. kneeling is a sign of respect beneficial to the one doing it.. it shows submissiveness which if u critically think about, you will realize that everything that person will ask for in that posture will be granted.. He/she who kneels before their God.. stands against everything in life. But also.. the Bible says our parents are our God’s on Earth.. only someone with a bright mind can see the derived impontance of kneeling…. The shallow minded ones will only see it as it is.. winnie. Sorry.. u lose on this one.
Bbira Luke: Men will never be equalled to women. If you still insist that we are created equal, then I want to see a brave woman who can initiate a relationship and becomes successful. This is nature
Paddy Garille: That’s what happens to someone who comes from the background without an established cultural standard and they grow thinking women are equal to men. That’s wrong. I support those who fight gender violence and those who empower women but I don’t support those who make them think they are equal to men.. It’s biblical..
Charles A Onyait: The fact that nobody forced the girl to kneel makes the whole story from winnie irrelevant. Some of these practices don’t contradict the modern civilization. It’s simply an expression of good bringing up and good moral background a charge entrusted on the parents. Winnie has to scale back a little bit coz what we want now is to hear some good advice to Kizza besigye on how to remove M7
Waiswa Abdullah: you read it from the Bible, Quran or it’s your own thinking? please style up naawe this is Uganda full of culture and much respect okkkkkk!!! Ooooosh what went wrong what went what????????????? Winnie.
@MrBasabose; Humility is not humiliation. Instead of campaigning to change a “culture” that you don’t seem to relate to, you can try to learn from them & understand? Men kneel too ma’am. This is how Europeans behaved when they got here, whatever they didn’t understand, they forcibly changed it!
@ange_rwanda; Did you read the problem or not? We’re talking about why in this culture it applies to women only to kneel down as a sign of respect to elders, why not men?
@tom_Mirindi8; Plz @Winnie_Byanyima if you uncomfortable with some African culture values…just keep it to yourself don’t humiliate yourself like that…this is Africa and ladies kneel to show respect