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Challenging the norm

Zimbabwe is a country on its knees after suffering a battering during the economic meltdown of the past decade and with the political arena in shambles, no one really cares about the problems the ordinary person is facing. Take for example the woman who has just lost everything when her husband died because the cultural inheritance laws say that all that she and her husband worked for now belongs to the late husband’s brother, or the woman who is told by her husband to go stay in rural areas and till the land while he stays in town and forgets that he ever had a wife and courts HIV, all because society says she must be subservient to her husband, or the girl child who is told she can’t go to school but her brothers can or the woman who has just been beaten within an inch of her life by her husband but can’t do anything about it because she has nowhere else to go and no skills whatsoever, all she has ever known is to be a wife and mother.

Daily I live with the reality of these situations, I walk in the midst of the pain, but due to financial constraints I can only write about it and that’s not even easy because of my limited access to the internet. The political situation in the country is not conducive to activism as most activists end up in jail, but at the same time those politicians who have the power to really change the lives of these people are busy finding ways to make themselves richer at the expense of the very people they claim to represent.

The biggest barrier to change is the norm. People just don’t want to give change a chance no matter how un-conducive the present situation is to their livelihoods. So no matter how much they may be suffering most people just don’t want to open up concerning the challenges they are facing.

How do you overcome gbv, rape, poverty, stigma, what do you do about children in child headed families who are forced to resort to prostitution to take care of their siblings or the old women taking care of orphans even when they are too old to even take care of themselves or the undergraduate who has just failed her course because she refused to sleep with her lecturer. Change the mind-set of a society. Give these women the power over their own lives and they will change the world. Empower them economically, and they will raise their voices against the injustices of society. With Pulsewire and other online communities I can inform a wide audience in the shortest possible time of the plight of these people. By engaging those that have dealt with similar situations I can work at finding solutions. Its amazing how with just a few words you can start a debate that knows no borders or cultural differences. With pulsewire, I can move the world to change.

Comments

marieb76's picture

Powerful!

"Its amazing how with just a few words you can start a debate that knows no borders or cultural differences. With pulsewire, I can move the world to change." That sentence sums up the importance of women finding their voices! It sounds as if the obstacles that you must overcome will be plentiful but that will make the result of your journey quite rewarding.

Bryne Atkinson

Tawjna's picture

Effective

Hello cj, I totally agree with Bryne. Your piece does not need much addition - short, salient, and grabs your heart. In a few words you have covered past, present and where the future needs to go.

Regards,

Hannah B's picture

thank you!

thank you for sharing your experiences and ideas -- your words have power, and I hope that you continue to share stories from your country and to alert all of us to the injustices that women face daily in Zimbabwe.

cj's picture

Thank you

Thank you for the support and encouragement. I am proud to have a team of friends that can set me on the right path even when I start having doubts about my abilities. Thank you

Cj

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