By Linda Tsungirirai Masarira (LEAD President)
When it comes to women’s issues I don’t compromise because women have been systematically marginalized in different facets of society. I am encouraging all women to step up and be counted. I reiterate the concept of the sperm. We all struggled against millions of other sperms to make it to our mother’s ova, we struggled to fertilize her egg, we struggled to come out through the birth canal, and even struggled to have our first breath and adapt to the new environment.
I am appalled by the way that women in Zimbabwe shy away from politics and governance issues. They feel like the struggle for self-determination is a struggle for men because of various gender stereotypes in our communities. Women do not want to join the struggle yet they struggle every day.
Life is a constant struggle. To be human and to be alive is a struggle. As a sperm, you fought millions of sperms to get to your mother’s womb. Don’t be shocked. It is true and you also struggled to come out of your mother’s womb through the birth canal – that was a struggle. As a newborn baby, you struggled to adapt to a new environment and to suckle your mother’s nipple.
You struggled to sit and fell every time. You struggled to stand, you struggled to walk, you struggled to talk and struggled to learn… Today my fellow woman, why are you saying you are not in the struggle? Why are you afraid when you managed to swim through and fight millions of sperms for survival. Is this the struggle that you endured when you wriggled through the birth canal?
Yes, there are historical issues of marginalization of women in governance processes, structural deformities in political party rank and file, cultural barriers, a strong existing patriarchal system, misogyny, etc. The women’s struggle has been alive since 1918 and we now need to implement some of the achievements of the women’s struggle in Zimbabwe. Our constitution speaks to 50/50 gender representation in section 56 and all state organs and functions should ensure that gender equality is promoted yet women still feel comfortable accepting quota systems of less than 50% as if we are children of a lesser God.
We can’t continue being discriminated against gender and it’s high time we stop whining and start acting. Women need to unite for the sake of our girl children and future generations to come. We need to ensure that we leave a legacy of equal opportunities for every Zimbabwean. We have the power to transform this nation, to unite it, and rebuild it only if we start focusing on the real issues affecting this land.
Zimbabwe is blessed with very intelligent, enterprising, and hardworking women. Unfortunately, most of them are not politically conscious and prefer to stand and watch from the periphery which has been very detrimental to the quality of our livelihoods. If we struggled from the sperm to the ova, what is limiting us to struggle for economic freedoms, gender and labour justice, academic freedoms, constitutionalism, etc?
All the problems we are facing as a nation have a heavier burden on the woman and are crosscutting whether you are LEAD, ZanuPF, MDCT, ZAPU, NPP, the other MDC member or not.
Dear Woman, Dear Sister 2021 is the year for us to converge and commit to rebuilding Zimbabwe for our posterity and self-determination as women in Zimbabwe. To carry on and push forward the agenda of women which was started years back by some powerful women, some who are late and some who are still alive.
We salute you! All the problems we are facing in Zimbabwe are political and we can’t afford to divorce ourselves from that brutal fact. We constitute about 54% of the population of Zimbabwe and we are the key economic drivers with the capacity to influence the change that we want in this country. We can’t all be politicians, let us support women who are running for public office morally and join their campaign teams. Let’s support women in business by advertising and buying their products and lastly let us support women in sport and ensure that they get decent allowances, not the paltry allowances that ZIFA offers the MIGHTY WARRIORS.
We are the change we have been waiting for. It’s time women become the kingmakers and stop being used to chant slogans, ululate and gyrate at politicians. We are greater than that. We are limitless and we can do it.
Survival of the fittest is the order of the day. Life is meant to be enjoyed not to be endured. Why are you silent? Why are you living a pathetic and miserable life? Are you doing justice to your children and future generations? Life is a constant struggle. Rise up and fight for your rights. Zimbabwe belongs to every
Zimbabwean. Nguva yemadzimai yakwana. Taneta nekutambudzwa nekushoropodzwa tiri vanhuwo.
We will not be silenced, hatinyaradzwe and hatityiswe zvekumhanya.