Funded by UNWOMEN, Hope for a Child In Christ’s attended the GlobalSpotlight Indaba workshop hosted by UNWomen in Bulawayo on the 27th of April 2021. Amongst the dignatories present was Maria Ribeiro the United Nations in Zimbabwe Resident Coordinator and heads of all UN agencies operating in Zimbabwe.
Various UNWOMEN partner organisations and Community Activists from Matobo and Bulilima also attended the Indaba.
The mandate of the workshop was to share the operational strategies of UNWomen Spotlight Initiative and the SASA! Together program by implementing partners. This is an approach to promote gender equity, empower women and girls and create safer spaces where men and boys can participate in promoting gender equality.
HOCIC Country director, Sunga Mzeche presented about the organisation’s SASA Together operation in Matobo wards 15 and 19 and the three interventions employed to fight challenges faced by women. The three interventions employed by HOCIC are SASA! Together, #HeForShe and Women Economic Empowerment.
She also spoke about how the organization uniquely addresses gender imbalance in rural settings of Matobo.
“In addressing the challenge of power imbalance, the SASA! Together intervention managed to hold weekly interventions with the help of 50 Community Activists and 15 Community Leaders reaching out to 5000 Community Members. We did this through 6 drama skits, power posters, 16 WhatsApp groups that have a participation of 1250 individuals, community dialogues and quick chats,” said Sunga Mzeche.
Sunga Mzeche spoke on how #HeforShe strategies are improving male participation in distributing care work.
“In addressing the challenge of limited participation of men, the #HeforShe intervention managed to increase male involvement reaching out to over 200 men through 2 Indaba beer hall discussions, commitments via Innovators Against Gender based Violence, 2 laundry cafes, 3 sports galas, 1 road show and 3 #HeforShe campaign videos on positive masculinity”.
Readmore on #HeforShe https://www.heforshe.org/en
“In addressing the challenge of limited access to income and resources as a contributing factor to GBV, focused on economic strengthening of women. We conducted a Selection Plan and Management of income generating projects that led to brick molding cooperative, grocery shop, gardens, poultry rearing and financial investment in small livestock. We also trained 50 Community Activists who cascaded training to women in the communities. We are happy that approximately 200 women have started Income Generating Activities making atleast 50 usd to 100 usd per month,” she further added
Representatives of the Spotlight initiative also shared the factors that lead to GBV and highlighted that GBV is a critical issue that needs to be addressed to free women and girls in our societies.
Donald Mudzengere the Spotlight innovator said that factors such as harmful practices, poor participation of men in GBV issues and toxic masculinities promote GBV in our communities, hence they should come to an end.
The UNWOMEN Resident Coordinator Maria Ribeiro expressed gratitude for being part of the #HeforShe Indaba. She urged HOCIC and other partners to continue fighting GBV so as to create changes in communities.
“Thank you for allowing me to be part of Indaba, together we can create change and development as long we put respect and love above everything,” she said.
“Power Imbalances against women and girls should be reduced. Treating each other with love and respect is what binds everything together in promoting development. I urge everyone to continue fighting power imbalances against women and girls,” she added
Women and girls are vulnerable to abuse in communities. Participation of men and boys in the promotion of Gender Equality and Women Empowerment is the goal of the #HeforShe initiative in ending GBV.