Activism of the Pen
Women's rights activism comes in many forms and shapes. Some activists march in streets and demonstrate, some speak at public gatherings, some write academic, well researched papers on subject matters that relate to women, some advocate and fight for the rights of women by repealing certain legal instruments and introducing new laws that are more women friendly.
And then there are some are like me, who use the pen to fight for the emancipation and empowerment of fellow women. I write reflection pieces on the position and condition of women, meaning my pen becomes the voice of the many underserved and underprivileged women that I represent in my country. Here is one of my articles, http://thisisafrica.me/gender-equality-western-notion/ I am also a writer of literary fiction and I unapologetically create strong female characters just to deconstruct the literary images painted by most male authors of the woman either as a witch, prostitute, a shouting, screaming woman, or fitting the traditional motherly, wifely role. I have been awarded with the Zimbabwe Women Writers Norma Kitson Short Story Award in 2012 by the Premio Mondiale Poesia Nosside 2013 for my poem titled, 'Diary of a Little African Girl.'
However for activism of the pen to be effective, one needs an audience; an audience as wide as possible, and the Internet has served me well by giving me a wide audience than I could never have dreamed of. When my article, "Gender Equality is not a Western Notion" was first published on This is Africa website, I was excited by the number of times it was tweeted about and liked and shared on Facebook. But this wasn't to end there. I started to get people from all over the world asking me to write on their various platforms. My next article is to appear on Hysteria a radical feminist platform and yet another one is to be featured in the virtual International Museum of Women under the Imagining Equality banner. I have also used social media like Facebook, which is more accessible to people here in Zimbabwe, to write and start conversations on gender issues and although we may not always agree with some people, the important thing is that lines of dialogue would have been opened on such issues which are deemed contentious and such discussions reach hundreds of people on social media.
Lastly, in our organization's website, http://mambakwedzawomen.weebly.com I have started a blog, Women of Mambakwedza Blog, to use as media to constantly write about the issues facing rural women and girls that we work with. The blog complements our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/mambakwedzawomen. As said earlier, in activism of the pen, the goal is to reach out to as wide an audience as possible. And what better way to do this than the Internet?