FOR years, the entire world has been trying to promote gender equality.
We have seen the efforts aimed at the elimination of all forms of exploitation and abuse of women and the promotion of gender equality through the Millennium Developmental Goals (MDGs), gender groups and television programmes, to mention just a few.
Even though gender equality was almost literally unthinkable in a highly patriarchal society, I believe it has now gathered momentum.
It is quite disturbing to know that there are still some women who have a warped notion of gender equality. They think gender equality means beating up and disrespecting males. Gender equality does not imply that women and men are the same, but that everyone, despite our gender differences, should receive equal treatment when it comes to social, economic and political issues affecting us.
The struggle for gender equality and women emancipation has never been easy with such women in society.
But I have come to think that it is the responsibility of women who now understand the concept of gender equality to ensure that women across the length and breadth of the continent know and understand its true meaning.
Hence the struggle still goes on.
I have researched on this issue and what I got is that some men and women in Zimbabwe are still against it.
There are still women who don’t know what gender equality is all about.
That then means that there are some women who are pulling other women down.
Tsitsi Dangarembga has tried to communicate the issue of gender equality through her work. In her play She No Longer Weeps, Dangarembga stresses that in our society there are Marthas who continue to struggle in order to be empowered. She brings the issue of education for the girl child as a tool to bring about emancipation of women.
In Dangarembga’s novel Nervous Conditions, Tambu knows that the only hope she has of lifting her family out of abject poverty lies in education. In her art, Dangarembga has put into light women who are not disrespectful of their male counterparts, but who want equality between men and women.
Efforts to bring about gender equality are gradually bearing fruit in Southern African countries. Recently, Joyce Banda recently bacame Malawa’s first female president.
The rise of female politicians shows that African countries are now accepting gender equality. In Zimbabwe, Vice-President Joice Mujuru has risen and could occupy the highest office in the land soon.
It is discouraging, though, that Zimbabwe’s Cabinet has a few women. Although there are just a few posts for women in the Cabinet, I believe with time equality will prevail and women will rise to many parliamentary and governmental posts. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma of South Africa is the African Union chairperson. Gender equality is now a close reality.
Now that women politicians are preaching the gospel of gender equality, I can sense that it is becoming a reality.
Tsitsi Matimati is a Journalism and Media Studies student at the National University of Science and Technology