Outspoken actress, Lydia Fosron has advised her colleague women to stand for each other in all times.

Read her FULL statement below.

“Women are their own enemies”, this a phrase I’ve heard around for several years and never took it as seriously until yesterday.

Its a phrase I’ve fought against endorsing because for it would only give more power to the discrimination and oppression of women.

But not endorsing something doesn’t change its reality and existence.

I know my friend Malaka would be against this post as I know she’s is vehemently opposed to that phrase. But I guess this would be our first official disagreement.

The reality is that when the fight against discrimination against women and equality for all started; it was mostly against men.

Men who refused to allow a woman a place and voice in society because of her gender. And for years we’ve battled against women’s right to vote, embrace her sexuality, appearance and even her right to her own body. And we’re still no where near the total liberation of women, although we’ve come so far.

The fight however isn’t really just against men anymore, and I think that’s where we’ve lost focus; the battle grounds and opposition have changed and the enemy is even closer than we think.

The enemy is within us, the enemy is our sister, friend, mother, aunt,grandmother.

The enemy is WOMAN.

I don’t know how we got to this point but we did. Perhaps like the cycle of abuse, the victim has become the abuser.

Either way, oppression has evolved into something  else, and thus our whole mission statement and strategy should evolve with it.

On international women’s day I had an interesting conversation with Vickie Romeo a colleague and good friend. She said something that hit a nerve and has stuck with me since.

Lydia, men don’t need to discriminate, opress and abuse us anymore, they just sit back and watch us do it ourselves.

When’s the last time a man chastised you for being unmarried?

What about for not having any children or only one?

Its usually a woman that will say, stay in an abusive marriage.

Its a woman that’s probably the first to call you a prostitute to degrade you.

Or mock you for not being able to keep a man.

Its a woman who’s the first to try to call to order another woman for what she’s wearing, or question her morals based on that.

We’re the first to point out anothers weight, or how badly they’re aging.

It’s a married woman who wouldn’t want to associate with her “single” friends because they’re no longer in the same league.

Even in the traditional setting, it is a mother, who know the pain of circumcision that will force her daughter to do it.

It is the mother that will coerce her child into marrying a man too old for her.

Its a woman that will force another to shave her head, sleep in the same room and perform all kinds of demeaning rights when her husband dies.

Last year I was in a whatsapp group with a few friends, and got into an almost nasty war of words with them over a picture they’d shared. For months I’d noticed how some would put a picture or story up about another woman, and would laugh and discuss it. Those who didn’t participate didn’t feel the need to speak out against it however disgusting it was, but like I always say ;

If you witness any form of injustice and don’t speak out, you’re worse than the offenders.

One day in the group, someone thought it would be funny to put a naked picture up of Nayeli Ametefe a Ghanaian woman who had been arrested on charges of trafficking cocaine. That was my final straw, I’d had it and went hell fire in the group; what did her nakedness have to do with what she had been arrested for? And why were we so happy to circulate it? The person in question feltt justified by posting the picture because, according to her “the girl deserved it for all the alleged crimes she’d commited.”

It was a back an forth debate( well not quite, more like verbal war) until I gave up and accepted this individual was too far gone to be saved. However what  disappointed me most was the fact that members in the group, all women didn’t feel the need to speak up on this, making it ok for this to continue.

We are overly judgmental , critical and cruel to ourselves more  than men have probably ever been, I think, and if this is true then the question is why?

“One reason could be that women have been conditioned to accept the patriarchal view of things – that is, women need to be put down, bullied and discriminated against. So unconsciously, we do the same. We are cruel and vicious with women, but not with men, because we accept that men should not be criticized – they have the right to their follies and defects, while women have not.” Angela Davis.

And the thing is we know this and have all experienced and maybe even contributed to it at some point. But we don’t want to admit is because in someway we feel like we’re being disloyal to the “gender”.

Well the only way to solve this problem, is by first admitting  that there is indeed a problem.

We have to turn our focus away from the men, and start empowering women to think, grow and love themselves more.

And I know this will be hard, especially when most have been conditioned to behave a certain way for years, trust me there are days when I’m too angry to bother.

But we need to break this cycle before the next generation starts to pick it up.

We need to love and support one another more, even when we don’t personally like or are associated with the person in question. On several occasions I’ve spoken up for women who I have no real connection to and may not even like, but I’ve done so because it’s the right thing to do. Even when then same women have berrated me for speaking up for them.

If we were as united in this fight for equality as we should be, we wouldn’t be fighting any more.

“United we Stand, Divided we Fall”