The Tanzanian daily The Citizen is boasting this front cover of this weekend's 'woman'.
Inside you find an article about the Diplomatic Spouses' Group in Dar es Salaam. I suspect the front cover may be an illustration of this article (?). The article is full of gems, like this one: '
“Not really, most experts live on the peninsula and you can buy almost everything you need in the shops. Also medical care is well organized,” she says.
However, Nathalie admits to have taken a while to settle in the country, particularly the speed of handling issues.
It took a while to settle, now Iam getting used to my life here. Some things work differently and I have to be more patient - for example Tanzanian people are not time conscious, I know that but it still annoys me. In my culture it means you do not respect my time. Even yesterday, my land lord was waiting for someone at my plot for one and a half hours, people have time enough here,” she jokes.'
(Note: *experts or expats?)
However, what really stuns me are the two article headlines on cover:
'Single. Men don't like good girls' and 'Feature. Women nagging their husbands to death'.
The latter article, I believe matches this online version here, titled: 'FEATURE: Husbands die due to stress' (and do note it refers to a Danish researcher's findings on stress). The article indirectly, if not directly, claims that women are responsible if/when husbands stress or cannot cope with stress - we are told repeatedly that men are less resilient - and the article concludes: 'Recently Kenya decided to make it lawful for a man to marry many wives. This is known as polygamy. Well the man has to be fortified against stress if he wishes to live for at least 10 more years after the marriage.'
So - what have we got? We have got an alarmingly sad mainstream view upon women in Tanzania!
The diplomatic spouses are contributing to an article which is all about them and their interesting take on hardship, something which oddly demonstrates their lack of sense of the diversity of the country they live in. Regarding the front cover photo, I wonder if the photo is truly of the actual diplomatic spouses in Dar es Salaam, or found of the Internet for the occasion? No matter what, it is hilarious. Could this be a silent revenge from 'woman's' editor, or this really how diplomatic spouses want to be portrayed in Tanzania today? Maybe?
However, that and the headlines of the two articles, referrred to above, do not only illustrate the contrasts between the lives of diplomatic spouses on the Peninsula to the ones of the Tanzanian - be it single girls or women nagging their husbands, unfortunately it also illustrates - the way I read this - The Citizen's standards for putting women in place.
Basically, these viewpoints coming through the lines are outright conservative and patronising, but also as they are camouflaged in a magazine titled 'woman'. So, you put together a women's magazine for women to read, and tell them to behave?!