Mini skirt march: Women inch closer to freedom_ Alpha Media Holdings_ 05 August 2016


Date: August 5, 2016
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Name of the story: Mini skirt march: Women inch closer to freedom

Name of the media house: Alpha Media Holdings

Country: Zimbabwe

Synopsis

Brief description of the item of work you submitted and motivation of why it is a good example of gender awareness and sensitivity in advancing gender equality Post-2015.

The story is on Zimbabwe women who have been abused by their male counterparts because of miniskirts and skimpy dressing. The women were being harassed by touts who at one points stripped naked a young woman who was dressed in a short dress. The women protested against this and today, the women do earn some respect from men though at times, some forms of harassment towards them are still being reported.

Background

Why did you produce the story? What problem or context is it responding to?

This story was produced to show how Zimbabwean women have fought against discrimination and all forms of violence as far as dressing is concerned. The article acts as a reminder and tells the success story of Zimbabwean women who fought for their rights.

They are fighting against the stereotyping by men targeting women in miniskirts or tight fitting trousers. Their fight resulted in two men who had stripped naked a young woman being arrested and jailed by the courts. By this, men do now fear for being jailed if they harass women in miniskirts. By this, Zimbabwean women are moving closer to total freedom as far as dressing be concerned.

Key objectives

What did you hope to achieve with this coverage?

This coverage is meant to show the world how Zimbabwean women bravely (and still) fighting for their own rights, that is sending a message to the men that they are free to do whatever they want to do as long as it is in line with the country’s new constitution. I fought in the corner of women , sending a message to the men that they should respect women’s dressing and that they should do away with this stereotyping of labelling women in miniskirts as prostitutes.

Target audience

Whom did you hope to reach? Did you succeed in reaching this audience? What evidence do you have to that effect?

I reached the women, men, government and lawmakers in Zimbabwe. The evidence cannot be paraded, but the response is overwhelming in that harassment of women over their dressing is now low given the intensity before the arrests as well as the article.

How did you go about researching and writing the story?

How did you gather the data, how many sources, female and male did you consult? Why did you choose these sources and how were their voices important?

I approached leaders of the famous miniskirt march, women groups and female lawyers. I chose these sources because they are the prime target and they have first-hand information on what is happening in the streets. Their voices are important in that there is no way they can lie on things that are affecting them. They are on the war front and they are hands on as far as issues affecting them is concerned.

Feedback

What impact did it have? What evidence do you have to illustrate impact?

Please provide any examples of feedback that you received from the articles (from websites, letters, etc.)

The feedback I got was the circulation of the story on social media groups as well as women groups sharing the link on their FB pages, as well as being picked on their websites. Feedback can be found on the News Day website as readers commented though some used vernacular language.

Follow up

How would you conduct a follow up to your story and why?

I will do a follow up of the story to check whether women are now totally emancipated from the heinous phenomenon by the men. I will interview the women who fronted the march and those campaigned against harassment of women.

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