Women’s ability to live without fear in all spheres of life, politically, socially or economically is one of the things that determines how peaceful a nation is. The International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September to support the ideals of peace amongst people.
This year’s commemorations come at a time when Zimbabwe and the world at large are in the midst of fighting the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic which has taken more than 900 000 lives worldwide. It is sad that instead of putting all hands on deck to fight the scourge, we have a new pandemic in our midst of Gender-Based Violence (GBV). Since the advent of Covid-19, the world has recorded alarming cases of GBV. These cases include domestic violence, violence in public spaces and state-sponsored violence against women, women human rights defenders and political activists.
Today we want to remember and celebrate some of the brave women who have been subjected to state-sponsored covert and overt violence but remain resolute in their quest for democracy, good governance, justice, rule of law and gender equality:
- Hon Joana Mamombe
- Cecilia Chimbiri
- Netsai Marova
- Noxolo Maphosa
- Ntombizodwa Mpofu
- Nokuthula Mpofu
- Namatai Kwekweza
- Vongai Zimudzi
- Nancy Njeke
- Lucia Masvondo
- Mitchell Lieto
- Tsitsi Dangarembga
We celebrate the braveness, resilience and dedication of these women leaders and others not mentioned above who continue to push back on patriarchy and oppression. These excesses continue to hinder women from realising their full potential.
Women are the majority of peace builders in Zimbabwe and around the world, and also happen to be the majority of frontline responders in the fight against the spread of Covid-19 within homes, at community and national level. If their peace is threatened, it poses a challenge to the fight against the pandemic.
WALPE stands in solidarity with all women and girls in Zimbabwe and around the world who are fighting GBV and promoting gender equality and also those who are upholding peace and calling out those who threaten people’s peace and security. As this year’s theme says “Shaping Peace Together,” we are urging everyone to play their part in upholding peace and stability in the country.
Source: Women Academy for Leadership and Political Excellence (WALPE)