Betty Makoni`s commentary:
I wake up as early as 6 am to just go through my news feeds on Facebook because it is easier these days to get an overview of what is going on. The first status update that made sense to me today is by Gloria Ndoro. The woman has a mature approach to life, she is a think tank and keeps in touch with Zimbabwe at grass roots level. I have never met Gloria in person but when she writes or shares her thoughts you would think she is seated right next to you. Just wondering why government of Zimbabwe has not noticed think tanks like Gloria to take country forward. Below I share what I feel is something every woman and girl should read. Read it more than once and you will get one straight message , yes an organisation up there can do everything to empower women and girls but it is an individual woman who must do more to empower herself. Read on and start an empowerment journey. My website selects the best ideas from women and present them. In life know who to follow and learn from and Gloria has my strongest recommendation on issues around women`s empowerment. Also visit her business in Zimbabwe and you will see that she walks the talk.
Article below is by Gloria Ndoro- a successful Zimbabwean Business and one of the few women role models in Zimbabwe and world over. She is on Facebook as Gloria Ndoro and learn more about her business and how as a woman she empowered herself.
The truth is that women do not run the world in any real sense. Out of every 100 government Ministers around the world, only 6 are women. Women do around 66 percent of the world’s work in exchange for less than 5 percent of it’s income. When Forbes published it’s first list of Africa’s richest people in 2010, none were women. Women own less than than 1 percent of the World’s property. 70 percent of the World’s children not attending school are girls.
If women were equal to men in many African countries, why do we have separate government Ministries focusing on women alone. But women are not living alone on an island. How do you meaningfully target women and girls alone who are part of families in which there are boys and men?
My point is that the feminist pioneers’ struggles have helped to secure women the rights they enjoy today in many – though not all societies. Yet nowadays, whilst many women acknowledge the significant strides made by the feminist movement, they find the notion of “feminism” alienating. They find feminism radical. But then again, are they expecting feminists to carry sticks to a gun battle. It’s a war zone out there.
I have fought for the equality of the sexes for as long as I can remember, but I am one of those reluctant to be called a feminist. Why? Because women like men are not a homogeneous group. This lack of homogeneity, makes it difficult to fight this struggle as a collective as I discovered many years ago. You can not fight for ALL women to have rights and equal access when there is no readiness and preparedness for many of these women to participate when these rights and access are granted.
Besides the fact that women, African women, have been my most critics, ” a woman does not do that”…”a woman does not fight with high profile men occupying positions in the judiciary and the legislature…wall a wall a”, I believe that when women are not economically empowered, they make different choices, low road choices, even if there is a high road choice for them to take right in front of them. Women need to go to school and be educated side by side with men, which is already happening but at a snail’s pace. When there are economic hardships in the family, it is the girl child who is first to drop out. Most importantly, entrepreneurship curricula ought to be enshrined within the school system from Grade 0.
I tell my daughters not to wish for my iPhone 4 because they cannot afford it, period. My ability to buy it for them does not matter. They must only wish for things that they are able to buy themselves, from savings or holiday job income. Why? Because if a man comes along and showers you with little gifts like, an iPhone, iPad, Mac Book Pro etc, etc, when he now wants to have his pound of flesh by wanting to sleep with you without a condom, your negotiating capacity has already been compromised. There is no free lunch. Those who are quick to shower you with gifts and presents, always, without fail, end up taking more away from you than they gave to you. It is a simple fact of life which many women, young and old, still need to learn. This message is also applicable in a matrimonial setting!
Whilst quality schooling helps, it is the socialization at household level that creates sustainable readiness and preparedness for our young girls and women. Education alone, as I have since found out, is not enough.
So what is my point? The struggle for women’s empowerment has to be two-pronged. The feminists must carry on with the necessary fights at macro level. However, the real fight for a woman’s empowerment will be won at micro level, at the individual level. Women are not homogenous. We are fragmented and come from different socializations, socializations which ultimately determine how we respond when presented with life situations. It is at the individual woman’s level where the battle of the sexes is yet to be won by women. Need I say more!