Hakata pursues a gender equal world
IT is 25 years since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration, women rights defenders and activists are taking time to reflect on progress made and are fighting to bridge the gaps through bold and decisive actions.
As the world celebrates International Women’s Day today under the “each for equal” theme that calls upon women to support each other, Trish Hakata, who is the Go-Getter Movement founder, is helping women share their stories with the world and to assertively use their untapped, yet unique potential to not only solve the problems they face in their lives, but also positively contribute to the betterment of their community.
“Since the inception of the movement in 2018, my team and I envision the creation of a billion dollar economy where everyone gets to equally participate, be it male or female.
“Our bias is obviously towards the empowerment of women given the systemic exclusion they have historically experienced,” Hakata told the Daily News on Sunday.
“We need to build up their confidence, self-esteem and self-worth so that they can fully participate in building the economy without feeling like their voices are not heard.
“We have programmes that focus on personal development, business leadership, education and training as well as mentorship.
“My goal has always been to create a convenient platform where women could share their stories, develop themselves, build their self-confidence, network, attain invaluable skills and learn in an enabling and supportive environment.
“To date, we have managed to create a platform for business and corporate leaders in and outside Zimbabwe to share on their journeys and mentor young women,” she said.
The 27-year-old believes her upbringing played a huge role in her decision to focus mostly on the self-development and empowerment of young females.
Growing up, she was surrounded by six amazing women, her mother, grandmother and four aunts and the only image she had of a strong person was a woman.
“My mother was 25 when she had me and my grandmother was fairly young when she became a widow.
“These two women had to do everything on their own, I saw the challenges they faced and witnessed them rising above any situation,” Hakata took us down memory lane.
“They worked so hard and made a lot of sacrifices to ensure we lacked for nothing which to date have amplified my respect for single mothers.
“They received little or no support and sacrificed their own happiness, education and personal development.
“It is only now that I realise how privileged I was to have learnt from two different women who always affirmed and encouraged me to be the best I can ever be; and ensured that I never lacked.”
The global shaper said women needed support structures around them, and need to be affirmed too even when they seem to have it all together.
“They need to get their cups filled so that they can pour much to others without running dry,” Hakata said.
“I have seen these sad realities among friends too where women feel that they are not worthy of opportunities, they want to play small and stay in the shadows.
“My advice to women is to work on themselves and be committed to continuously develop themselves.”
Hakata was quick to point out that women are also undermined by a system set up to make them fail, sometimes they are their own enemies due to low self-esteem, negative self-talk and limiting beliefs.
She added that the struggle is always referred to as male vs female when in actual fact women and men need to both join hands to fight a system that undermines women’s contributions.
“Women don’t live in a vacuum and besides collaboration is the new competition,” she said.
“Let us focus on the bigger picture of us all equally contributing to the betterment of our community and work together with men to break that glass ceiling, let’s work on continuously improving and developing ourselves and let’s not create hurdles for other women just because we want to be the ‘first’ and ‘only’ female in the ‘men’s’ club.”
A total 673 women and 125 men have participated in Go-Getter Movement programmes so far.
Hakata added that to ensure gender equity, it is vital that financial inclusion is advanced and to help capacitate economically marginalised women and communities by creating a convening platform that gives them access to personal development tools, relevant business leadership training, mentorship, markets and funding for their businesses and initiatives.
Narrating challenges associated with being a gender activist and an advocate for equality, Hakata said societal perspectives were a huge challenge.
“I have been labelled as too strong, too opinionated and too independent and in society where marriage is the ultimate goal I’ve been bluntly told that women like me will die single and alone which is quite a scary thought to be honest,” she poured her heart out.
“But I replace the negative comments with positive affirmations.
“I know I was not brought onto this earth to just be mediocre. I was born to serve and make an impact in the lives of young people and women. Being aware of this and having people closest to me has helped quite a lot.”
Despite all the opposing forces she had to deal with, the Go-Getter Movement Founder is a champion and hero of the economic and empowerment revolution in Zimbabwe and she is among the 15 outstanding young people under 30 who got nominated for the Acceleration
Incubation Mentorship programme sponsored by the World Bank in 2016.
She is the project director of Campus Community Foundation, which proffers solutions for challenges faced by university students all over Zimbabwe through specific projects such as the mentorship programme, which was endorsed by the government of Zimbabwe and adopted at the African Union summit in 2017.
Her vision was to push for proper career guidance for
students and help students
explore all the options they had.
Hakata is also an owner of Munchies Mobile Kitchen.
An equal world is an enabled world, Hakata is helping to forge a gender equal world where both females and males prosper.