Youth Solidarity Power for grassroot feminist movements
By Polite Ndhlovu
It was all joy and excitement as Activista youths from different corners of Midlands Province met for their annual conference.it was a great gathering where Activista midlands met to reflect on 2018, capacitate each other and map way forward for 2019.
The Activista Zimbabwe Midlands Chapter annual conference was held on the 8th of December 2018 at Mbizo conference and training centre. The conference was attended by 28 members who were representing 8 districts of the Midlands province. The theme of the conference was Youth Solidarity Power for a grass root feminist Polite Ndhlovu, provincial secretary, was the director of the programs.
The conference started with welcome remarks from Provincial Coordinator Nkosilathi E Moyo which was followed by introductions which were done in a catchy manner to boost morale and confidence of young people. They were had 3 speakers.
The first a session was about challenges faced by girl child and women at large in the societies. This session was facilitated by Millicent Nhutsve (Hands of Hope Director women organisation). She stated that there are a lot of things that are over looked but really affecting the girl child. These include the issue of pads, home cores, over protective of parents, child marriages. She also mentioned some cultural norms and believes that are retrogressive in addressing gender parity. These challenges make the girl child to be powerless to effectively participate in political, economic and social spheres. Thus they only remain docile while their male counterparts will be strong and rule over them.
The second session was about the role of media in civic engagement, democracy and governance and was facilitated by Jasper Maposa (Media and Societal Studies Lecture Great Zimbabwe University and ZOYP programs director). Jasper Maposa told the Activista that the media is crucial in development and enlightening the community. People should have the freedom to express themselves and they can only do that through media. Activista were encouraged to remain afloat if they want to represent and empower their communities not being submerged. They were encouraged to use social media and other main stream media to put Activista on the spot light and also set the agenda. Participants were told to worry of what those people they put in power are doing rather than those voted in power by the people to be the ones worried about what those who gave them power are doing.
Participants were also taught some media laws and ethics and how best they can sell their ideas through media.
Last speaker was McDonald Munyoro from NAYO who tackled the issue of youths and their role in fostering development. He encouraged young people not to conform to the system too must that they let it do as it will with them. Young people were encouraged to put duty bearers to task. Young people are the once that should set the agenda he said. Encouraged the youths to work in solidarity and speak with one voice.
For 2019 Activista Midlands Chapter agreed that it will focus on encouraging civic participation in democracy and governance issues in communities. It was agreed that of the activities will done in different districts. However they are few selected that will be done as a province. Participants agreed that they will do debts, create forums in learning institutions and have community dialogues. In all these activities the quest to keep on promoting the voices of women will keep on alive. Thus was done so that more women will participate in civic issues in communities