Village head vies for gender transformation in Sanyamaropa

When l heard about the Fatherhood Clubs from DOMCCP l was so eager to join as I wanted men in my community to be aware of the programme and its activities too. My life became a living testimony of positive transformation which created a road to transformation for my wife too. I am now well informed on issues of GBV and managing relationships in the homes. Recently l had a confession from my wife, she told me: ‘Handina kumbozvifungawo kuti ucharamba uchindidawo,’ (I never imagined you would forgive me and continue loving me.)

As traditional leaders, we made a mistake of valuing men over women. It is time to change the gender norms to ensure that women’s voices are equally heard. Things are changing in my community; men are now able to appreciate the roles played by women and are ensuring the women’s rights are not violated and their spaces are not infringed upon. I believe a good leader should eliminate gender disparities among men and women, boys and girls.

Cases of spiritual appeasement and marrying off young girls are widely practiced in this village. Why do we continue with these ill-practices that aim at depriving the girl child of the right to education?’ Because of the SAfAIDS programme on gender equality and creating space for young girls to express their feeling and concerns to curb HIV infections and GBV, I managed to bring back one of the girls who had been married off to appease an avenging spirit (kuripa ngozi). She was only in grade seven when the ‘in-laws’ finally decided she was ripe for marriage. I was well informed of the child rights and issues of Child Marriage Act from the CTRF4YP Fatherhood Clubs, as such, I took it upon myself to fight for the girl child to go back to school.

Men empowerment is a powerful tool to transform them from negative gender norms to positive gender norms as a way of addressing gender equality within families and among boys and girls.

‘’A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way’’ (John C.Maxwell). I intend to create a gender transformative society, starting with my village!!

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