We are the change we want
18 Apr 2018
We should not compromise when it comes to our position(s) as women in governance and electoral issues.
We have the power to transform, unite and rebuild this nation only if we start focusing on key issues affecting this land.Our struggle is clearly demonstrated by our very conception as human beings.We struggled as a single sperm against millions others to reach our mother’s ova. We struggled through the birth canal. Our very first breath and adaptation to a new world outside the womb was a struggle.
This is the same way with our political emancipation and independence.
Frontline politics for women?
Historically women have been marginalised in governance processes. One needs just to recollect the years of the women’s suffrage in Europe in the early 1900’s as women fought for their right of women to vote in elections.
For Zimbabwe, the problem begins with the structural deformities in the rank and file of political parties, which are mostly influenced by a strong patriarchal system and cultural barriers.
It is time Zimbabwean women step up in order to be counted through the implementation of the achievements of the women’s struggle made over the years. One of the biggest achievements is found in section 56 of Zimbabwe’s constitution. The constitution provides for the promotion for gender equality through a provision of 50/50 gender representation in all state organs and functions.
We cannot continue to be discriminated against because of gender. We should stop complaining and unite and act for the sake of the girl-child and future generations. This is important in ensuring that we leave a legacy of equal opportunities for every Zimbabwean, male or female.
It is unfortunate that despite being blessed with very intelligent, enterprising and hardworking women, most of us are not politically conscious. We prefer to stand and watch from the periphery, a situation that has been very detrimental to the quality of our livelihoods. Naturally the challenges the country is facing as a nation are a heavier burden for the woman. This is in spite of our political affiliation as members or supporters of the ruling ZANU PF, MDC-T, ZAPU or National Patriotic Front (NPP). Even those of us who are apathetic to politics are not spared of the problems that facing our country.
What is it that continues to limit our struggle for economic freedoms, gender equality, labour justice, academic freedoms and constitutionalism?
It’s all politics
All the problems we are facing in Zimbabwe today are political. This is a brutal fact that we cannot divorce ourselves from. We constitute 52% of the country’s population and continue to contribute significantly to the economy. We have the capacity to influence the change that we want in this country.
As we cannot all be politicians, we must support those that dare to run for public office morally, financially and joining their campaign teams. In that process, we should support women in business by utilising their establishments for advertising and supplying of campaign material.
Dear Woman, Dear Sister. 2018 is the year for us to converge and commit to rebuilding Zimbabwe for posterity. This year we must pick up and push forward the agenda of women, which was started years back by powerful women.
Some of these gallant women are still alive among us while others have departed this earth. We salute them!
It is time for women to stop being used to chant slogans and ululate for men to become kings. We are worth more than that. We are the change we have been waiting for. We are limitless and we can do it.
Linda T. Masarira is an aspiring MP for Harare Central, who is also a Human Rights Defender, socio economic and political activist. Linda has undergone the Gender and Media Connect skills training.
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