Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe engages gender champions to fight GBV

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By Clayton Masekesa

Doradombo, Mutare South – The Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ) is equipping rural-based male gender champions with knowledge on gender equality and women’s empowerment to increasingly raise awareness on gender based violence.

In a male engagement meeting convened by the WCoZ held in Doradombo village in Mutare South recently, it was identified that patriarchal systems and oppressive culture are among the major barriers that hinder the realization and promotion of gender equality in communities, especially rural societies.

To influence social norms and a change in practice in rural areas, the WCoZ facilitated male engagement conversations with male champions in Doradombo, who are taking a stand against gender inequality and discrimination against women.

“This convention will tackle traditional, cultural, patriarchal, and attitudinal factors that hinder women’s capacity for leadership and decision-making,” said WCoZ in a statement.

“The conversations will also raise awareness on gender equality and women’s empowerment,” it said.

Tapiwa Zhangara, a gender champion said there is a huge global misconception that women’s rights and gender equality are purely women’s issues and struggles.

“This misconception is largely attributed to the fact men and boys have oftentimes been left out in conversations centred on gender equality. There is a need for a mindset shift for society to understand that women’s rights and gender equality are purely democracy issues, and hence calls for collective action against gender bias, discrimination, and violence,” he said.

“There is a need to rally a diverse cross-section of women, men, girls, and boys to stand against the discrimination of women and gender-based violence,” Zhangara said.

The WCoZ is now encouraging men and boys to increasingly take action against gender bias, discrimination, and violence against women and girls in Zimbabwe.