I was born to a Zimbabwean family in a city called Harare and as a child to my teenage years I grew with an interest and passion to better the lives of women in particular having being reared by a single parent, that being my mother, I saw firsthand the challenges that women faced in gaining a significant role and recognition in society. Women were prejudiced and expected to play a particular role, shadowed by men or their husbands. Women were and to a large extent even today are expected to play two roles alone; being a wife and a mother. My mother struggled after my father passed away to create her own identity away from that which she had been associated with and that was being married to my father. After my father passed away, my uncle known as babamudiki in Shona, was ready to marry my mother as was customary in our culture. If my mother refused it would mean that we, her children would be taken away from her and sent to live with other relatives and our house would be taken away from us by relatives from my father’s side. My mother would be chased away to go back to her own family. As brutal as this sounds, this was a real possibility at the time and we lived in fear and dread of what lay ahead of us during those years.
Fortunately our house was not taken away from us because my father had written a will and my mother, being strong willed refused, to give into the culture and marry a man she didn’t love just because of custom and traditional laws. I am happy to say that my first role model in woman empowerment was my very own mother. Though it was hard for my mother to make ends meet for us in the first years after my father’s death, she managed to pick herself up, build an honest living and work repertoire in tailoring clothes(her profession to date) and managed to put us through high school. Though she didn’t manage to cover my university fees, she taught me to fight for what I believe in and to not allow any segregation to stop me from pursuing my dreams. Today, after taking all these lessons, I am completing a final year in a Bachelors degree in International Relations and Diplomacy and have received Certificates of recognition from my University for doing exceptionally well. The lack of finances did not defeat me, rather it only drove me to work harder to earn a living and pay for my university education.
Out of these early childhood experiences up until my adult years I have grown to understand the willpower and strength that exists in the beautiful creature called a woman. And because of that I have looked for forums that share my same zeal and passion. A forum that does not only share about injustices but provides solutions for women in society, empowering them, encouraging them to overcome the challenges they face in society. In search of such forums I found World Pulse and was greatly excited to find this place which empowers women and gives them a voice not only for them to be heard but to be positive agents of change for their families, communities and even to a national level, transforming lives and giving hope to what would other wise be a hopeless group of women. I think of how many women out there are going through what my mother went through then, who feel defeated by norms and expectations, laws and traditions that hinder their progress and how many feel helpless and defeated? Today we have the added advantage of digital tools that can send important messages across. We can help those women who need a message of hope through all these tools and technology made available to us. That's why I feel strongly that World Pulse is a part of me and my heartbeat. Thank you!
Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Your Journey and Vision.