Gender stereotypes and roles have hindered women’s potential as leaders, with the assumption of leadership roles by women often contested.
It has not been an easy journey for Nobusa Mabusa (24) as she narrates a story of how she found resilience and success despite her troubled childhood. Mabusa says she had an ambitious dream to defy all odds, and succeed from a tender age.
Growing up with esoteric parents, denied formal education, impregnated at 13 and suffering emotional abuse coupled with early motherhood stresses almost consumed her. “But this kind of hardship opened a world of imaginations and dreams of becoming a powerful business woman,” Mabusa says, during a Young Women for Economic Development (YW4ED) launch event recently. This is a women’s empowerment group targeting young women, and they held their first district outreach programme for Matabeleland South in Beitbridge followed by Gwanda.
The initiative seeks to equip women leaders with the right mind-set and skills for self-sustenance. Having overcome her troubled childhood, Mabusa is now part of the group that seeks to inspire other women in the province to scale greater heights despite their backgrounds.
Mabusa is an independent business woman specialising in hair products imported from Zambia. It has been a long, hard journey for her. “My dream today is that we work together for the new generation of young women and every girl child to live in a world with opportunities for them to shine bright like diamonds,” says Mabusa.
Memory Dube, an entrepreneur, tells of her dream of becoming a successful poultry farmer. “This noble initiative is a starting point to unveil economic prosperity to young women of Gwanda,” Dube says. She was given 50 broilers as start-up capital by one prominent businessman Fisani Moyo who shared a lecture on empowerment and business start-ups. Dube says she is privileged to engage in projects that will uplift her economically.
Gwanda based businesswoman Tynathia Moyo says empowering women is necessary for the country to achieve United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs). “Women constitute a greater percentage of our population thus if they are supported economically, they will add to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita immensely,” says Moyo.
SDG 5 is a stand-alone goal aimed at achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls. The UN says empowering women and promoting gender equality is crucial to accelerating sustainable development. The UN adds that ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls is not only a basic human right, but it also has a multiplier effect across all other development areas.
For Moyo, this particular attention on women originates from the idea that women, not only in Zimbabwe but around the world, have been historically disadvantaged and deprived of their rights to education, access to assets, land and other economic or social resources just to name but a few.
Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Mangaliso Ndhlovu says young people are the cornerstone of economic development. “Young women in the province should escape their comfort zone and exhaust their abilities even beyond sectors once considered to be male dominated,” Ndlovu says.
“I want to challenge young women to partake even in leadership positions fearlessly. In 2023, 30 percent of councillors will be women, so be part of it young women.”
Source: The Citizen Bulletin