Zimbabwe: Enock Muziringa

Date: July 20, 2018
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Enock Muziringa

“The egocentric masculinist attitude where I would be a male-chauvinistic is gone and I now give women the same chance to excel and prove their capability in society, as I do with other men”.

In 2013 I automatically qualified to be a member of the Gender Committee by virtue of being a councillor. I was interested in the gender work from the onset.

I acknowledge the efforts of the Municipality of Kariba gender focal person Ms R. Mavi who is dedicated in gender issues. She has made me believe that together as males and females we can shape our communities into enviable places.

I have not looked back and now feel my participation has a bearing on the change required in the mind-set of those who have not yet embraced gender equality. I have not missed gender meetings and I am also working with other Organisations such as FACT, Women Affairs and Ministry of Youth as a Councillor to spread information about gender and issues affecting the youth and elderly. My highlight is the recent workshop held by Municipality of Kariba where I was tasked to make a presentation on the 50/50 gender campaign.

My work includes interaction with people from all walks of life. I come across a lot of issues affecting the general public. At times I am forced to intervene in some private affairs. The issue of language is also a challenge as most of the newspapers, pamphlets and fliers are produced in languages that some people do not understand. Also the information is not gender sensitive. Gender stereotyping is also a challenge. Women are limited in news gatherings. Male journalists have the privilege to move far and breadth for news without any problems.

Some customs and religions cause women to refrain from participating in gender politics and advocacy. Sometimes women do not participate as they are discouraged by their husbands. Human Resources Officer of Municipality of Kariba, Rosetta Mavi, recognised my consistency in gender issues. I have taken part in all gender activities in Kariba. I feel I have a duty to conscientize and make men believe that what they can do in this life, a woman can also do the same.

My institution has benefited from the positive change in my attitude that I am now exhibiting compared to what I used to be. I used to look down upon all the female councillors as I felt they did not have qualities to lead. But now I appreciate their sterling performance in leading council business in their capacities as chairpersons of committees and mayoral positions held. Looking at the gender perspective on a national level, so many changes have been noted in Zimbabwe. Women have been elevated to higher positions equal to men such as Vice Presidency at one time, Ministerial positions and Members of Parliament. The perception has only seen men elected to Parliamentary positions at the expense of women due to wrong perceptions by both men and women.

My future plans are to empower myself by broadening my knowledge on gender issues through study. I would like to be a gender champion not only in my local area but also internationally so that I learn and disseminate gender knowledge on a wider spectrum. I would also want to have small clusters dealing with the gender issues at grassroots. This will envisage an easy passage of gender knowledge from a tender age and embed it throughout to the highest level of leadership. With such knowledge it will be easy to accept one another in all opportunities without bias to a certain sex.