Strategically using ICTs to amplify voices of silenced groups

Friday, March 8, 2013

Grassroots women call for an end to violence against women

digital storytelling viewing
The Creative Centre for Communication and Development (CCCD) hosted the commemorations for the 2013 International Women’s Day amid cries by concerned community members over escalations of violence against women. 

The commemorations drew participants from all sections of Reigate district in Bulawayo, including the District Administrator, the Zimbabwe Republic Police, Mother’s Union members of the Methodist Church and Noah’s Ark ministries, the media fraternity, women’s groups and young people.
The commemorations were held under the United Nations theme, A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women. The theme seeks to strengthen international community’s commitment to put an end to violence against women.  

Speaking during the commemorations, Pastor Febbie Chuma, who is the Chairperson of the Creative Centre for Communication and Development, attributed the increase in violence against women to some negative cultural and religious practices that relegate women to subservient roles.
“There are some religious people who seek to (mis)-use the Bible to oppress women by saying that God created a woman just to be a man’s helper yet God created man and woman equal,” said Pastor Chuma.

The commemorations were marked by discussions based on digital stories produced by grassroots women narrating their personal experiences on issues such as HIV/AIDS, unemployment, alcohol abuse, disability and teenage marriages and pregnancy. Officials from the District administrator’s office read the speech by the United Nations Secretary General, Mr. Ban Kimoon.
CCCD director, Ms Gertrude Pswarayi said that her organisations seeks to bring voices of marginalised women and girls to the fore.

We firmly believe that these digital stories will inspire both men and women to work together as equal partners in ending violence against women and girls,” says Gertrude Pswarayi, CCCD Director.
The UN Women estimates that up to 50% of sexual assaults are committed against girls under the age of 16, 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not yet considered a crime, up to 70% of women in the world report having experienced physical and/or sexual violence at some point in their lifetime and that over 60 million girls worldwide are child brides, married before the age of 18.

It is against such shocking statistics that the organisation was adding the new voices to challenge violence against women.