We have been blessed to be born in a generation where the idea of equality and opportunity can not only be a dream but a close and achievable reality. Thanks to famous women like Winnie Mandela, Maya Angelou, Oprah and even unsung heroes like Divine Ndhlukula founder of SECURICO Security Services in Zimbabwe, and the queen of Africa’s security industry, we are blessed enough to be seen and this has equated waves of a generation that can not only debate about the necessities of feminism but deny that there is a fight to be fought.
Feminism is a range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, establish and achieve political, economic, personal, and social equality of sexes and yet here in Africa we face the ideology that feminism is anti-cultural, that equality is anti our tradition but submission and slavery was never the way of the African people; ‘In the Middle Ages, when European women were practically slaves, African women were reigning over kingdoms and were gatekeepers of commerce and military leaders. Many African societies were matriarchal, with African women being afforded sexual and social freedoms which led to less possessive relationships. The major shift in the status of African women, however, came as a consequence of the European attack on Africa, which resulted in slavery and colonialism’ (Theafricareport.com : Is feminism un-African? | The Question )
Black Panther was and truly could have been an African reality, which begs to answer the question why should you be a feminist regardless of your gender in our society today?
Despite various movements and laws passed in the recent years, Zimbabwe is still a far cry from fully protecting women against abuse. At least 22 women are raped daily in Zimbabwe, translating to almost one woman being sexually abused every hour as statistics from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Office (ZimStat) and more than 40,500 cases of domestic violence with more than 60% going unreported.
Women are still shrouded in the shame of speaking out, in the fear of being judged as a nation we have adopted the tendency to victim blame and instead this truth stays hidden in plain sight because we as a society refuse to stand as one, to step up to be our voice and to finally say enough is enough.
2/3 of the 774 million people worldwide who are illiterate are women, 62 million girls world-wide still don’t have access to education and according to the One Campaign over 130 million girls are still out of school. To count from one to 130 million would take us 5 years. http://logpledge.org/ones-ground-breaking-report/
And don’t forget to take the love our girls pledge.
If against all odds you are blessed enough to be educated, in many countries, women in paid work earn 10% – 30% less than men and even scarier is the reality that we are then condemned to the reality of feeling unsafe in our workplace because of unsolicited sexual remarks and often sexual encounters that many in our nation refuse to acknowledge as sexual harassment. Quite often we hear that women have a choice to say yes or no. How about ensuring that the question does not come up in the first place? Sexual Harassment article:
Emma Watson coined it “He for She”, it could also be called We for We. Or: I am because We Are. See, gender equality isn’t just for women, it’s for men too. Feminism is a fight against a non-functioning society, against a mindset that says we are not one. Feminism is a fight for equality, and our fight, our fight is to get the people talking, to give the people a voice!