By Nevson Mpofu Munhumutapa
A gender equality and empowerment objected civil society organization Katswe has taken a new line of response to gender-based violence. This vitiation comes with the 16 days of collective action against gender-based violence perpetrations against women.
Giving a dimensional mirror to the whole set-up in line with addressing the thorny issue, Katswe engages Pachoto music group, a bevy of buxom girls tight-clad in red golf t-shirts who sends out the message to communities through music and dance.
Raising a high-pitched voice for the civil-society organization Katswe Communications person Diana Motsi points out that the group has been engaged to show-case a talent of music with the message that always rings in the mind of communities.
‘’We do our advocacy through music by Pachoto to bring communities and organizations round the table to address gender violence. We want people both men and women to learn about the dangers carried by ideas that are negative about violence in homes.
‘’In this age both sexes perpetrate violence against each other, meaning to say even men are on the receiving side of the story but I tell you women bears more of the brunt of the knife and they end on the receiving end.
‘’As Katswe we there-fore make it reach communities as a message that applies both to men and women. Yes, women have heard enough but it turns to touch on men who are also on the precarious sharp edge of the story on a daily basis’’.
Many African countries have addressed gender-based violence through sensation and awareness through radio, television and newspapers, but Katswe takes the voice down deep through training young girls who are the future.
‘’through this up-rooted advocacy of music we address several areas surrounding Health. Yes Gender-based violence but what comes with it is the transmission of HIV and AIDS, Sexual transmitted infections and diseases, reproductive tract infections like cervical cancer and some health implications.’’
‘’Besides, remember gender-based violence kills the dignity and integrity of a well- being. It astray young people minds as they grow in communities. They end up thinking that’s the way it is done. Young people grow up oriented and integrated in a gender balanced non-patriarchal communities. We love that and we have to send the message out there,’’
she adds a voice again getting on to explain on another area of teaching to the young people, making them see by themselves, feel it and touch it all around for orientation into integration through film-making.
Katswe works as well with Women Film-Makers of Zimbabwe. This is a group of young women who disseminates bad practices of men to women through film making. The separate event had been done earlier on in the capital city in Avondale where 2 films were shot.
Speaking on the sidelines of this she said filmmaking by young people portrays the bad practices by men who abusively do wrong to their wives. The two films took it up on the lives of young women who get married early in life then gets dumped, runs away from their men. Sometimes they report cases that are taken to courts, men at last get imprisoned, comes back again to do the same violence, abuse and harassment to the same woman. It tells from a certain point of view that women need empowerment. I pointed this out specifying it clearly that the Governments of many developing countries must work well with non-governmental organizations to address issues of inequalities and then empower those women on the edges in terms of resource allocation.
Secondly, I pointed out on access to information for all especially to those in marginalized communities, poverty stricken and vulnerable communities. Access to Information is one area of empowerment that is far behind in many developing countries in Sub-Saharan -Africa, the middle east and central -Asia, some parts of Europe and in the Banana Republics of South America.
Young lady of her middle adolescence age Chido Chikosha said many young girls fail to reach their high level of education because of early marriages, getting sexually abused in their early years and being exposed to culture and tradition.
‘’Fil-making by young women like us tells stories of girls who face their consequences of the fate they do not expect to face in life. Many young girls fail to proceed on with education, thrown in poverty and vulnerability.
‘’Culture has done more harm than good. Young girls lost opportunities that they would have used in their life-time. We live shorter lives especially these years, life expectation is not high. It means then we have to work hard as young people to go further with education so that we kill poverty circles.
‘’Young girls must no-more become objects of early marriages, sexual abuse violence and harassments by men and parents, or even their guardians. This is time to walk the talk and say no-more to all of these practices up to culture and tradition, religion and African customs’’ , shouts out Chido .
Young people advocate to live in a new World free of sexual violence, gender based and all forms of harassments and discrimination. Their convention [CEDAW] Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women] has gone long way in addressing these issues affecting women’s lives.
Civil-Society, churches and communities continue to lobby the Government through parliament to play a vital role in making these addressed once and for all without any challenges along the way. It is interesting to note that women have improved in terms of education, employment, enrolment in universities and institutions.