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Written by Miles Tanhira, Information & Communications Officer at GALZ, Zimbabwe

Therefore i will not keep silent.I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit, i will complain in the bitterness of my soul (JOB 7 vs 11)

As we approach International Women’s Day, i find this verse quite inspirational. It conjures into my mind the women who are suffering is silence, the defenseless woman whose bare chest is ripped by bullets in Dafur, the starved and hungry woman in Haiti, the lesbian whose life is threatened by the Bahati Bill in Uganda and the woman who has to toil for survival in Zimbabwe. All these women from different parts of the world, but with one thing in common, their excruciating pain. I am not a sadist and i don’t mean to paint a gloomy picture, but yes, they are all victims of circumstances, victims of men’s insatiable appetite for power,victims of corrupt systems, victims of patriarchy where men make decisions on behalf of these women under guise of culture.

I feel that on such a day, Women have nothing to celebrate. How can I celebrate when my fellow sister is bound by chains of misery, battered and bruised . When women in Zimbabwe are beaten to the pulp by police armed to teeth when they dare mobilise to raise their concerns as citizens, when the South African lesbian women are exposed to HIV/AIDS through curative rape and the Kenyan Albino woman’s life is in peril. Women bear the brunt of social , economic and political woes. Yet, they are often treated with very little or no respect.Where i come from they say where two elephants mate its the grass that suffers. This is true of women who are often at the receiving end where men’s hunger for power and love for glory meet, it appears no one else matters. Today because of such rapacity countries are war torn and reeling in poverty, it is women who have to take the toll.

At times i am over whelmed with emotion and i feel i cannot do anything for all these women, then i realize i have a voice. I might be small in stature and not have the muscle to wrestle, but my voice will not fail me, it will continue shouting until women are respected,appreciated and emancipated it will continue shouting.

To all women i say the things that divide us are nothing compared to the power that binds us. Its’ no use hating a fellow sister because of race, sexual orientation or past mistakes. Together we can make some noise wherever you are, make use of that voice.

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