By Joyce Mukucha
The Norton constituents joined other progressive elements of society in celebrating the International Women’s Day as a sign of respect and special treatment to women since they are pillars of strength, peacemakers and conduits for development of the country.
The International Women’s Day was signed by United Nations in 1975 to be celebrated on the 8th of March every year. All roads led to Harare and Nkayi in Matabeleland Province on Thursday for celebrations. On Saturday, the people of Norton held their own celebrations to connect with and empower all women in the area.
At the celebrations that took place on the 10th of March 2018 at St Eric’s Secondary School in Norton, women were urged to stand and fight for development, as they are key stakeholders of sustainable economy. They were encouraged to realise their worth and superiority.
Addressing women during the commemorations, Temba Mliswa, the Member of Member of the House of Assembly for Norton Constituency who hosted the day said women should know that it was their responsibility to support each other so that they would achieve their different goals.
“Today is your day and as women of Norton I urge you to be strong enough. Be bold to inspire yourself. As your MP, I want you to know that you are the strength of homes, society and the country as a whole. We are here to celebrate your achievements and above all you should press for progress.
“When we talk concerning elections, learn to vote for each other and select the leaders amongst you. I believe that women should be empowered and given sources of income to start their own businesses and projects. This day is a special one so I emphasise that each woman must know her importance in the country of Zimbabwe,” said Mliswa.
For the few women who showed commitment to march for their day in the morning, Mliswa promised to help them acquire passports and join them to medical aid schemes.
Gertrude Mandizvidza, a well-focused woman in upgrading herself and supporting other women in Norton, who was the guest of honour during the celebrations, said it was a blessing to be a woman and she urged women not to be dependent all the time.
Mandizvidza pointed out that women must not be left out but rather find inspiration and know their superiority.
“My fellow women, I am very humbled to be standing here sharing with you advice which can help you transform your lives. First of all let’s remember that being proud and being optimistic are the qualities we should have for us to prosper. We can climb the ladder that can land us somewhere if we are able to support and empower each other.
“In your homes, do not allow your husbands to abuse you only because you are a woman. You need to fly and soar like an eagle if you are proud of yourself. Tell yourself that yes we can make it. Don’t be dependent but stand up and work for yourself,” she said.
Mandizvidza emphasised that it was possible for all women to reach their dreams if they desisted from being bound with fear of practising their rights. She owns a pre-school in Norton. She also runs a primary school in the same constituency. Mandizvidza has plans to build a secondary school.
The women’s development advocate received an award from the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce for being a well focused lady and has been invited by Mega Fest Company to come and present her talent of working hard. She also invited other ladies to connect with her if they feel that they need help in entrepreneurship.
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) representative at the event urged women to fight against corruption in Zimbabwe. Corruption has dire global consequences, which include trapping millions in poverty and misery and breeding social, economic and political unrest.
In that regard, women as mothers, were encouraged to report any form of corruption and fight for the country’s well being.
Women were advised that corruption denies poor people the basic means of survival forcing them to spend more of their income on bribes. ZAAC indicated it that human rights could not be enjoyed if corruption prevails. It urged women to be good mothers who nurture and teach children against corruption since they are the future for tomorrow.
Kudzai Masharira, one of the women who took part in the celebrations said she was gratetul to Honourable Mliswa for recognising them through the support they received from him. She said the International Women’s Day had brought happiness in her life for she come to realise her importance and value in society.
“I can’t even explain how happy I am because of this day. It shows that we are valued and respected. I thank MP Mliswa for empowering us as he gave us hope that we will never be the same again,” Marashira said.