By TEMBA NZOUNHENDA
Just like The Perch, we watched and observed the wellbeing of society in general, and women and girls in particular. Obviously, we needed to do something, and indeed did something. Over the past year, as Perch Media Trust, we have given the women and girls a voice because mainstream media would not, trained them on how to use social media platforms to make their lives better and even went further to tackle the scourge of fake news which has torn women and relationships apart. All this was in an endeavour to empower for a better world.
The 8th of March each year is International Women’s Day. The theme for 2020 edition is Each for Equal. Working towards the realisation of such demands that we collectively and purposefully empower women and girls for sustainable development and wellbeing of society and humankind. As Perch Media Trust we went further and localised our theme to commemorate and celebrate International Women’s Day to ideally identify with local women’s concerns. We ran with the #MukadziHaashungurudzwe theme as a way to remove a stumbling block in the long established efforts to emancipate women from unbecoming cultural and socialisation norms that treat same as objects of abuse. Our belief in an abuse free environment for women and girls motivated us to do our utmost bit in that fight as a way to empower and achieve Each for Equal.
What a way to celebrate the event we chose, even at face value one would dismiss it as worthless. To the contrary, this turned out to the most vibrant and effective formula. Men and boys are an important factor in the process and ought to be involved if successes are to be scored. Men do not readily come to attend such organised events, hence we had to take ourselves and our event to them.
We organised, together with our partners, Shamwari Yemwanasikana, Amnesty International, Population Services, Chitungwiza Provincial Pool Association and the Tanza Centre, a snooker tournament as a way to involve men in our programme against gender based violence targeted at women and girls. Men and boys can effectively use their masculinity positively to empower, support and protect women. We chose to start the com memorations on the 7th, so as to be ushered well into the 8th, by beginning our tournament on Saturday the 7th. Indeed the two day celebrations were refreshing, rewarding and uniquely successful.
The Tanza Centre hosted the tournament, with twenty two teams from Chitungwiza’s three districts of pool with one team made up of lady players only. The venue was packed’ the message driven home, commitments made to end gender based violence and everyone in attendance was a winner in many different but worthy ways. All participants in the programme expressed satisfaction after the event, with calls to make it a periodic event. This should do good in demystifying the myth that the bar and men are agents of violence, gender based violence particularly. In the meantime we continue to work for the empowerment of women and girls through various efforts and programmes. We call for collective effort fro same from all quarters.
Happy International Women’s Day!