Billian Matambo Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Workers Union (ZIDAWU)
Women can do it ,a capacity building and awareness raising project aiming at increasing women’s ability to change makers ,to be influential in society and seek decision making positions on equal term as men is set to produce democratic ideal women we expect as a nation. Zimbabwe environmental law association (ZELA) in collaboration with Norwegian Peoples Aid (NPA) contacted a training for women leaders from different CBOs on the 12 and 13 of May 2018, which I was privileged to attend and get the training on behalf of Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Workers Union (ZIDAWU) women at Mandel training centre Harare.
Democracy and women’s participation in Zimbabwe is still every women’s dream nationwide. As shared by Ms Sally Dura director of Women Coalition of Zimbabwe, said as women we are still miles away from reaching the democracy we expect to see. A lot is amiss and there is high need to gear up women’s participation in sectors like politics, power holding ,decision making positions and duty bearers. She said the best approach is to basically understand the fear behind and deal with the devils first. As the bible says that fear on its own is a demon, support systems must be put in place which are not one size fits all. However she urge every woman to know were her strength lies and put it into positive energy . For change to be registered we need action oriented advocacy as women
Ms Nyaradzo Mutonhori of Zela trained the women on how to deal with arguments, speeches and debates. Sharing the importance of participating in the public arena as a woman that it support democracy. With the secret to successful speeches being thorough preparation. She also shared with women the dos and don’ts while on the podium when presenting a speech. When dealing with nervousness ,she said one need to know the reason causing nervousness and put it in a positive aspect then the rest became history.
Director of Women and Law in Southern Africa (WILSA) Ms Dorcas Kanyimo lectured on advocacy and campaigning. The key thematic area when doing advocacy is knowing the power holders and the proper key actors to engage. Advocacy often is about working for the rights of people or making change on behalf of someone oppressed and its directed between two types of actors ,rights holders and duty bearers. She explained that there are three ways which can be used dialogue, mobilisation and confrontation depending with the situation at hand. Noting that the key success of an advocacy campaign is planning a series of actions that have a clear goal. However she said when doing the campaign there must be flexibility towards the advocacy cycle depending on new information or changed circumstances hence still ensuring progress.
Ms Dorothy Hove director of Zimbabwe Women Resources Centre and Network (ZWRCN) tackled the most sensitive subject affecting women in CBOs and community as a whole. Violence against women is a disease hindering women’s progress and participation. Depression ,bitterness, denial ,vulnerability ,self pity and low self esteem these are some of the results harvested by women when abused. Speaking out is a proven and tested remedy women need to exercise. She said the continuous unpaid care work women are doing with willingness its a clear sign that women can handle pressure.However she said there are some religious and cultural values which suppress women with some even identifying them as sex objects. Ms Hove said sometimes its best to map the violations with statistics and try to educate the police.Also raising awareness campaigns to educate the girl child must be every woman’s mandate.
Inconclusion I can say the the women can do it training is an empowering tool need to be implemented down from grassroot, especially in the community were a lot of women are living in ignorance ,with most of us who can’t tell our right hand from our left.
Compiled by Billian Matambo Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Workers Union (ZIDAWU).