It is unfortunate that I have to write about the importance of a woman. However, it had to be done since the issue I am writing about is something that is happening in our society every day. When the pain of having a child becomes far worse after the birth itself, it is high time to address the issue and no longer pretend that it does not exist. Some people do not see the important role a female plays.Do they realise that childbirth is both painful and risky, and that it would be impossible without a female for a pregnancy to happen? Why exactly does giving birth look like such a bad thing? Furthermore, women are mostly blamed when giving birth to a baby girl – as if they choose the gender of the baby. I have wondered for a long time what goes on in the head of a person who calls women useless, knowing that it was a woman who gave birth to that critical person. Women experience the worst during birth, which is the climax of a pregnancy. This is a critical stage when there could be stitches, tearing and incisions. There are possible complications – such as stillbirth. Many years ago, after the birth of my daughter, I met the wife of my mother’s cousin in town. She told me that she had heard that I gave birth to a baby. She then asked if it is a boy or a girl.With a smile I replied, “It’s a girl.” However, her reaction absolutely shocked me because it was not what I expected from a woman. “Oh, ke ngwanana? (“Oh, it’s a girl?”) she said, with a look of disgust on her face. Then she further said, “O useless, o tshwana le mme wa hao ka ho etsa banyana. (“You’re useless just like your mother who only gives birth to girls.”) I was very upset and when I got home I told my mother, who was equally very annoyed and shocked. I ask myself where do these people get the guts to belittle females like that? Do they not know about the many successful women that we have in this country and all over the world? We have women who are the toughest in business, hold leadership positions, are entrepreneurs, investors, philanthropists, scientists and chief executive officers – just to mention a few. They are making their mark in the world.Most importantly, women are mothers and grandmothers. It is sad to notice we have people with such minds who have no respect for women. In my opinion people who think women are useless should come up with a way to produce babies without a female. Because without the same female they call useless they themselves would not exist. Express welcomes anyone to contribute to the weekly column. There is no payment for writers. Send your opinion piece (not exceeding 500 words in Sotho, Tswana or English) via email to teboho.setena@volksblad. com. Writers are welcome to send articles of a spiritual nature.