Gender equality: A close reality


EDITOR — For years, the whole world has been trying to promote gender equality.

We have seen efforts aimed at the elimination of all forms of exploitation and abuse of women and the promotion of gender equality using the Millennium Developmental Goals (MDGs), through gender-formed groups and gender-based television programmes to mention just a few.

Even though gender equality was almost literally unthinkable, I believe it has now gathered momentum.
It is quite disturbing to know that there are still some women out there who are too stubborn to support the issue of gender equality.

They think gender equality means beating up and disrespecting male figures, whilst that’s not the case.

Gender equality does not imply that women and men are the same but that everyone, despite our gender differences, should receive equal treatment when it comes to social, economic and political issues affecting us.

The struggle for gender equality and women emancipation has never been easy with such women in the society.

But I have come to think that it is the responsibility of women who now understand the concept of gender equality to ensure that women across the length and breadth of the continent know and understand the true meaning. Hence the struggle still goes on.

I have done quite some research concerning this issue and what came out is that some men and women in Zimbabwe are still against this issue of gender equality.

Other than this, there are still women who are not well-versed about this animal called gender equality. That then means there are some women pulling other women down.

I have heard women crushing other women’s points of view at churches and national functions when being addressed, which is not acceptable. Seriously, that leaves a lot to be desired.

Tsitsi Dangarembga has tried to communicate the issue of gender equality through her work. From her play She No Longer Weeps, Dangarembga stresses that in our society there are characters like Martha who continue to struggle in order to be empowered.

She brings the issue of education for the girl child a key move to emancipate women. Even in her novel Nervous Conditions, Tambu knows that the only hope she has of lifting her family out of poverty and emancipation lies in education.

In her art, she has put into light women who are not disrespectful of their male counterparts but who want equality to prevail between men and women in the society.

This is bearing fruit since recently Joyce Banda, the President of Malawi, dissolved her cabinet following calls from donors, civil society organisations and the media to act on those involved in the country’s financial mess.

By this act, women are doing their best to prove that equality should be the order of the day.

The rise of female politicians also marks the beginning of the reality of gender equality.

In Zimbabwe, Cde Joice Mujuru managed to take the Vice President’s seat. A couple of women have managed to grab posts in the cabinet.

Tsitsi Matimati

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