Zimbabwe:Ruth Chamunorwa

Date: July 17, 2018
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‘If someone can do it, I am able to do it too ‘

I am a housing intern at Umguza Rural District. I am empowered in terms of gender mainstreaming issues. I am passionate about Gender related and human rights related issues and women empowerment. I am an active member of Yali network and also a business woman.  I am an empowered young woman who is eager to rise.

I am a graduate trainee under Housing Department. I have seen a lot of girls being denied of their rights s women. They not being educated leave them vulnerable to Gender Based Violence cases. People living with disabilities have been segregated especially girls. They have sexual reproductive health that needs to be respected just like any other women. Most women are not land owners due to patriarchal societies and when the husband dies, the wife is left vulnerable to hunger and poverty. My mission is to empower the girl child, People living with disabilities and vulnerable children. As a graduate trainee under Housing department, my duty is to update databases, provide housing in the form of sale of stands, documentation and making sure that clients are satisfied with our services. I also take part in Social Services, the management of projects like building of schools and clinics. I directly deal with builders, Council Engineer and Accounting department in purchasing of building materials. I am involved in the construction of clinics and schools.

Marginalisation and silence constitute fertile ground for more HIV transmission. Churches, church theologians and the society at large are not yet ready to talk openly about the subject. It’s still a controversial issue. Gender based issues, initiatives are associated with women by society. Misconceptions and social/anti-social beliefs and values are fueling discrimination and stigmatization.

I provide regular mentorship to girls and women in our organization. I also facilitate women empowerment through entrepreneurship skills. Women empowerment also helps in reducing gender based violence issues in the communities. I also advocate for gender mainstreaming especially in land distribution issues and the girl child.

Championing gender has made a great change in my life. I am now more expose to gender related issues and equality. I am now able to stand my ground and encourage other youth to be gender drivers at their communities and work places. Championing gender equality has led to changes within my family because now we know that we can all do households chores. Even on my close circle, I now know that both females and males have equal opportunities and rights. At Umguza RDC long back there was no gender focal person, now there is one and people are able to look at issues with gender sensitive lenses. Thus it has brought positive change in our institution because there is gender equality. Having understood the Sustainable Development Goals, I learnt that women must also be involved in politics, policies and economics. Resistance by male counterparts was the biggest challenge I faced but with time they seem to be accepting bit by bit due to the things that other women are capable of doing that a man cannot do. I wish to continue pushing young women to be drivers of change in the future. I also wish to change behavioural attitudes of men towards land. They should practise equality within communities. “If someone can, then I will”.