Zimbabwe

When women get elected, many are hopeful that it’s a step in the right direction towards women’s equality. Yet history and evidence tell us that having more women in office doesn’t automatically translate into real change in women’s lives. Maggie Mapondera, JASS Southern Africa, talks with Egyptian political scientist, Mariz Tadros to explore this further.
“Many of us women might say, I’ve been abused and believe that it’s just my husband without realising that it’s a system,” says activist Primrose Kavhumbura. Along with 19 other feminist activists, Primrose participated in a feminist movement builder’s school convened by JASS Southern Africa and Katswe Sistahood in Zimbabwe. It was a dynamic week of sharing and learning how women are challenging what it means to be a “good woman” and breaking the silence on sex, sexuality and violence in their communities.
For too many women, questioning whether they are beautiful is part of a daily routine. For women of color, the concept of “beauty” is even complex. One merely has to open a glossy magazine or walk down the aisles of a supermarket in Harare and look at the faces you see on certain kinds of body lotion or shower cream—to realize that “beauty” and ideas of beauty are political.
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“I am officially legal,” gay activist Frank Mugisha tweeted shortly after Uganda’s Constitutional Court ground-breaking decision to overrule the country’s notorious anti-gay bill. Uganda’s LGBTI community and human rights activists the world over rightly applauded the ruling. However, activists are asking: is this enough?
Fungai Machirori questions how women's rights and solidarity efforts can be authentic in a world that often seems more concerned with the next big 'hashtag' movement.
Read Everjoice Win's razor-sharp snapshot of the Southern Africa's changing context—dynamics and trends—as well as opportunities and challenges for women's rights agendas.
Fungai Machirori, founder of Her Zimbabwe, sat down with fellow feminist journalist, Pat Made at the JASS Southern Africa Strategic Planning & Review to explore the ins and outs of communications for feminist movement building and the importance of getting people to talk differently so that they can think differently.
Where to start? … Over a week ago, I attended a dialogue—The Importance of Youth Leadership in Africa: A Discussion with Young African Leaders, hosted by Congresswoman Karen Bass. Catchy title, but I wish I could say the same about the discussion.
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For three days in Johannesburg, JASS has been asking the big questions for feminist movement building and activism in Southern Africa: where, what, who, why and how.
I read Ngugi wa Thiongo’s The Trial of Dedani Kimathi years back when I was still in lower secondary school. The character that sticks with me most since that time is the woman political activist who works to support the liberation movement. She smuggles a gun into the courtroom by storing it in a loaf of bread with its insides removed expertly for that purpose. She is an ordinary market woman but uses her agency as part of the formidable people’s liberation movement to unseat colonialism in Kenya.

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