Zimbabwe: Emma Tsuro

Zimbabwe: Emma Tsuro

Date: May 12, 2021
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I have been talking about Gender since long back but I never understood the meaning of it till I got the real meaning from Gender Links. Since then I now have gender lenses I can challenge every decision, activity, project or anything that is gender bias.

 “I am a survivor of gender-based violence. I make a living through cross border trading, I sell broilers and I have a flea market. I can pay myself a salary and I do not beg for money from anyone. I wish I was able to have this empowerment that I have now earlier I could have done something much better for my family. If I had the information I could have prevented all this violence that I faced. I met Gender links and I got empowered I can make any decision without fear and I can also provide anything for my family.

Emma Tsuro met Gender links in 2018. She used to sell broilers, which she neither documented the sales and expenses nor calculate the profit. Every month she used to ask for capital to start the business from the husband. This also increased violence within the family. However when she had the first workshop with Gender links she now has a direction of where she coming from and where she is going

When she met Gender links many opportunities of participating in community activities increased. She mobilized other women to engage in income-generating projects. She was elected to be the chairperson of a women’s group. She also mobilized many vulnerable families to be engaged in internal savings and lending’s and they managed to start their small projects.

Before Gender Links, Emma used to keep 25 broilers and was not even able to increase the number since she was not able to run the business properly. After the training, the number increased to 75 and 100. Through savings and lending’s she was able to engage in selling school uniforms and footwear.

Emma Tsuro used to overspend thereby increasing expenses for the family. She used to give away manure for free, dispose of all waste but now she can recycle every waste for other economic projects like pavers and aluminium pots. She selling manure which has also increased the source income for the family

Emma Tsuro has gained self-confidence even without attempting O’ level she feels she is of the same level as other graduates. She lacks the capital to engage in bigger projects or established business but she feels she can compete with anyone. She used to look down upon herself but with the information gained from Gender Links, she feels that everyone is equal. Gender Links empowered Emma Tsuro with information that gave her the power to feel equal with men in terms of access and she is not afraid to make any decision.

Priscilla Maposa Gender links Country Manager Zimbabwe always says “From the researches that were done it shows that most Gender-based violence cases are a result of the unavailability of money within the families. Therefore we need hardworking women who can provide for themselves and their families and never beg for money from their husbands”. Emma Tsuro always mentions that “I always remember these words and they give me the power to move on and provide for my family thereby preventing GBV.

From the training that was received by Emma Tsuro, she now has marketing skills where she uses different platforms to market her products. Negotiating skills were also acquired, following up customers, bookkeeping, business plan writing, packaging of products, identification of the right product at the right time and business diversification are some of the skills that were acquired from gender links

Group gatherings that we do as a group encourages one to work hard and also make your only contribution through Internal savings and lending’s and purchases of grocery have also brought changes in my life. If people who have the same goal if they work together they can share ideas and help each other in times of need.

Gutsa Furthermore Norton Town Council employee is also responsible for this change and she always says, I am a Council employee but I have my small vegetable market, I also sell second-hand clothing, I have a joint venture and provide tyre services, I sleep late and wake up early but you just spend the whole day doing nothing and always asking for a small amount of money to buy even a small pack of salt from your husband”. Emma also looks at herself and see that she did not even finish her ZJC but someone who is formally employed is doing all kinds of jobs to earn a living. She is motivated with such people and she works harder to be like them.

This change has brought respect between Emma and her husband as well as sons and daughters in law. The husband also appreciates the projects which are done by his wife and also said this; “you were supposed to have started this business long back we could have achieved many plans.”

Other women in the community always ask” please if you know of any women empowerment programs please do not leave us”. Emma has become popular that women within the community take her as a focal person of developmental activities. They have also joined the women’s different groups within the community and are participating in internal savings and lendings. They also managed to start small projects.

All my sons do all household chores in exchange with girls. Emma Tsuro now knows what is Gender and also its difference with sex. She also encourages her family members to assist each other in doing the household chores regardless of sex.

Emma Tsuro was not also spared by the COVID 19 and Lockdown; she could not purchase or acquire products from the nearby countries nor transport to travel to and from the city. Moreover, she could not access the local market as a result the source of income was reduced. All the money for the business was used to purchase the daily needs of the family. Operating space was a challenge during the lockdown and this forced Emma to operate from home.

Emma Tsuro needs to increase her staff as well as open other lines of business so that if the other line of business is affected the other one will cover-up.

Gender Links has brought economic and social empowerment in Emma Tsuro’s life as well as her family but her worry is on other women who are so reluctant and are not engaging in any project. She said, “ I would like to encourage other women out there to be proactive find something to do and prevent gender-based violence or tomorrow you will be a victim.