Zimbabwe: Wayne Dawara

Zimbabwe: Wayne Dawara

Date: May 13, 2021
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“As an outgoing Junior Council Chairperson, I look forward to continue working with Council and Gender Links after my term of office is over. The youth, just like adults, have a role to play in changing the lives of community members”

“I never knew the difference between sex and gender until I met Gender Links. I got to appreciate that gender means women and men can do the same things except those that are biological”.

“Gender Links has opened my eyes. There are certain things regarding gender that I used to take for granted.I never took time to look at things from a gender perspective, until I was trained. I now understand that men and women experience their lives differently and that they have different needs. These needs requires special attention.”

Mr. Dawara is not only the Chairperson of the Junior Council, but he is also a gender champion amongst the youth. His worship is involved in farming, with a focus on rearing chickens and producing eggs. Most of the chickens and eggs are for sale, whilst some of them being set-aside for youth income generating projects. The Chairperson believes that empowering the youth needs training and development, together with material and financial resources. Gender Links assists Junior Council on the training and capacity building, whilst Chiredzi Town Council and other partners provide financial and material resources.

In Chiredzi, Mr. Dawara and his team are driving change. They are constantly engaging the youth on community-related issues such as pre-marital sex, alcohol and drug abuse and physical violence. According to Mr. Dawara “it’s about using our voices as youth leaders, to call attention to issues that are ignored but being faced by the youth in Chiredzi”. Mr Dawara is a powerful grass roots campaigner and leader. His first encounter with Gender Links was in 2019 when he was trained on key gender concepts. He was taught about the difference between sex and gender, gender roles and stereotypes. He also took part in other programmes that were the brain-child of Gender Links, namely computer training and entrepreneurship development. He has also been actively involved in the 50-50 campaigns and 16 days of activism against GBV.

The Junior Chairperson does not work alone in his efforts. Together with his team, he has partnered with various Government Ministries, including the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Youth, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Local Government. He also maintains a good working relationship with the junior Member of Parliament

Mr. Dawara believes that, as an individual, he wants to live in a community where people are treated equally, which is why he is vocal when it comes to gender issues. Today he uses his social media accounts to inform peers on gender based violence and other issues that affect women. Mr. Dawara may be young, but he carries a heavy load of responsibility on his shoulders. According to the Chairperson, “I have set my sights on speaking out against sexism and abuse of women and girls”.

Mr. Dawara is not only conscious of the needs of women and girls, but he is also an advocate for the rights of people living with disability. He uses his position to highlight the societal issues that negatively affect them, such as access to buildings and poor provision of health services.

Today, Mr. Dawara continues to contribute to local debate on gender equality and the rights of the marginalised members of the community. “It is unfortunate”, says Mr. Dawara, “that our term of office is short. There is a lot of work that I wanted to do as a Councillor, but unfortunately I am limited by time. However, in future, after I leave school, I will continue to work with the Junior Council as an Alderman and will pass-on the knowledge I have learnt to the incoming Junior Council.” Mr. Dawara intends to go to university and continue his exploits as a gender champion.