2016 Women’s Day Celebrations: Zimbabwe #RewritingTheCode?

They say “A woman’s value is exactly the same as a man’s value as far as both being human beings worthy of value.”

But, it is undisputed fact that sometimes the world out there favours only men. Many women are treated as objects and valueless. They are subject to all sorts of abuse and insults – the list is endless.

Nonetheless, there are other women who have demonstrated that they can do anything a man can do and those ‘little’ efforts have to be recognised and celebrated. This is why on the 3rd of March 2016 Zimbabwe joined the rest of the World in commemorating Women’s day.

Organised by the Ministry of Women’s affairs, the celebrations took place at Meikles Park where people from Mutare and surrounding districts converged for preliminary celebrations on the role of women in the society.

The main celebrations were held the following day at Rukweza in Rusape where the First Lady Dr. Amai Grace Mugabe was scheduled to be the guest of honour.

Photo: Judith Razunguzwa
Photo: Judith Razunguzwa

In the past, the events have been taking place only in the Capital Harare and in other bigger towns where an ordinary woman from Buhera or Mahenye could not manage to go to attend and eventually benefit from the celebrations.

In her remarks, the Minister for Women’s Affairs Nyasha Chikwinya who was the Guest of honour at the Meikles Park said this year they decided to take the celebrations to Rukweza in order to give the opportunity to other women who have never had a chance to engage, network and share their experiences together.

The gathering acts as a platform to break Zimbabwean women’s silence. It allows them to freely discuss things that affect them on day to day basis at the same time urging people to #RewritetheCode (ending the norm) of saying women have no capacity to do something meaningful in the society.

“This is an opportunity for me to network and interact with other fellow women out there and share grievances and challenges we face on daily basis. It is an interesting thing though to find out that the problems that I face as a woman; others have experienced them too in the course of their lives.

“So, it is good and inspiring to hear how they have managed to overcome them, which have given courage and hope that I am not a mere person but a woman of value. Every woman needs this opportunity regardless of where she is,” said Chipo Sithole who came all the way from Dora to attend the event.

Photo: Judith Razunguzwa
Photo: Judith Razunguzwa

The theme for this year’s celebrations was Planet 50/50 by 2030, step it up for gender equality which was aimed at creating a safe and supportive environment for women to fully enjoy their human rights and freely participate in sustainable development of their communities.

The focus was more on violence against women sexual reproductive health rights, women’s rights as well as women’s empowerment.

At the Park, activities included competitions in categories like cooking, sewing, farming, visual arts and singing. The Minister also donated a bale of cloth to the women of Jekenisheni Church.

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