Zibabwe: *Rose

Zibabwe: *Rose

Date: May 17, 2016
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In my life l have noticed that for a woman to be recognized in a society she has to be economically empowered. I have been treated like a second class citizen who has to wait for other people to make decisions then l follow after them but Gender Links empowered me to be independent and self-sufficient.

My name is Rose* l have been undermined in my marriage and denied the opportunity to participate in any activity that can allow me to be empowered as a woman. My husband did not allow me to associate with anyone in the society and l was not even allowed to go and buy groceries in the shopping center claiming that l will gossip with other women. This in a way affected me because l could not make friends as a woman and whenever l went out of the house l was physically and verbally abused. Most of the people in the community did not understand my lifestyle because in a way l became an outcast. I was not given any opportunity to empower myself and did not have a source of income. l only survived through my husband who gave me money only when he wanted to. Life was not easy because my husband bought food in the house at irregular intervals. I was patient for a while because l had no survival skills and only depended on my husband’s income. My husband did not allow me to go to the clinic whenever l am sick because he believed that a woman should be strong. Also l was not allowed to go to church like other people do.

I heard about Gender Links from friends and l was encouraged to go. I asked for permission from my husband he denied me and l persuaded him until he agreed. My first encounter with Gender Links was when l attended the entrepreneurship training program. The training had a greater impact to me because it tackled on my situation and on what l was going through. I came up with a business plan and from the first workshop l was able to start a business of my own.

I started selling second hand clothes and my business is growing very well because l applied the skills from the entrepreneurship program. The entrepreneurship program has been of great importance to my life because it has empowered me economically and also socially. The entrepreneurship program has given me the skills on how to save money, update financial records, and also know the profits and losses of a business.

Since l have joined the entrepreneurship program l have been able to help my husband in supporting the family and our life as a family has changed because l shared the knowledge l had on how to manage a business. Gender Links has played a key role in solving a lot of issues destroying my family’s relationship. The Gender Links program has enlightened me on the importance of a woman to be economically active in a family so as to be able to support the family. Moreover my life has transformed socially because l am now able to make decisions on my own. My life has transformed to a greater extent because l am now able to associate with other community members also.

I am proud of myself and l feel honored because l am now able to share ideas with other woman. I have shared my story with other women from church and in a way this has assisted me in gaining my self-esteem and also has enlightened other women in the community on their rights and on how to manage a business. The Gender Links program has transformed me and l have become an inspiration to other women especially those who are economically inactive.

I would like to thank Gender Links for giving me the opportunity to explore my abilities and also to escape from the abuse that would made me suffer for the rest of my life. I have become a free woman who can do a lot of things on her own and am happy because l am now able to support my family financially.