Women’s voices in the public domain in Zimbabwe are constrained because of excessive male dominance in all aspects of life including the media. Women’s opinions and concerns are expressed in the media through the eyes of men and this has contributed to the trivialisation of women’s issues.
For women in Bulawayo
North district, such a situation is set to change. The Creative Centre for
Communication and Development (CCCD) is empowering women and girls not
only to seek, receive and impart information but also to listen and be heard,
understand, learn, create and respond to issues that affect their lives.
Recently, CCCD facilitated
a 21-day training programme that targeted 18 women and girls who are
disadvantaged. The training which took place three times a week started on
January 21 and ended on March 6. Its goal was to produce relevant content for
women, by women, in a language they can understand and in formats they can
easily access for the purpose of advocacy aimed at advancing their rights.
The technology skills
transfer programme empowered women and girls to tell personal stories using a computer,
Free and Open Source Software, an audio recorder and digital camera.
The training took
place in a conducive environment where each woman chose to share her personal
story of hope, pain, survival or courage. Of the 18 women and girls who were
trained, eight chose to share their digital stories publicly. The stories ranged
from abuse, HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancies, forced marriages, unemployment to
alcohol abuse. Sharing of these personal stories was therapeutic for the women
and girls. By end of the training, they regarded each other as a pillar of
roller-coaster training, the women felt confident to share their personal stories
with the entire community when the community commemorated the International
Women’s Day on March 08.