Stepping up for women and girls to achieve gender equality! Judah Chiruka-Mafararikwa High school

I would like to tell you my “l story” as a Young for Gender Transformation Club Facilitator (Y4GT). When l was sixteen last year (2016), l was chosen by my guide and counselling teacher to join the Y4GT club. This was because l always come out as an ambitious and innovative young leader who is consistent in standing for the rights of women.

I grew up in an apostolic sector community where most people are looked down upon and often end up failing to achieve their life goals. I took it upon me to empower young girls and women to realize their right to education and to delay marriages as much as they can. I believe women should also partake in economic initiatives which empower them to be financially and socially independent. It was quite unfortunate that my older sisters got married early without completing their secondary education because they believed marriage was the panacea to their destiny. My parents also thought if my sisters got married they can live a better life. Because of the Irish Aid programme, I realized marriage for girls and women is not an escape route from poverty.

Being a Y4GT facilitator is quite beneficial and interesting. I spend much of my time listening to issues affecting both young boys and girls. Some of these issues are debatable, hence making me a star in debate competitions. I faced a lot of criticism as a facilitator especially from boys. Advocating for gender transformation resulted in me being given names like ’semi-boy’’ meaning l am not fully created as a boy. This did not deter me. I am proud that I am emerging as a true advocate in my community which is so religious and is not open to women empowerment. I see light in the future. Total transformation is possible.