It’s time to stand up for our rights
By Yunah Bvumbe (Harare Polytechnic College)
Women have often been deluged with suggestions about ways to become more powerful in relation to men; however the differences in men’s and women’s access to use of power continually subvert the whole essence of gender equality.
Many of us seek friendship or colleagueship with members of the other sex often to find out that the equality supposed in these relationship is constantly challenged by learned sex role patterns of dominance and submission.It is from this background that as a nation, we cannot continue to articulate about gender equality when men continue to dominate in society at our own peril.
Zimbabwe having been championed for being part of those nations that endorsed the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development in 2008 which requires that ‘’states parties shall endeavour that by 2015, at least 50 percent of decision –making positions in the public and private sectors are held by women’’. The participation of women has not been very impressive and it raises alarm on whether Zimbabwe will be able to ensure 50-50 representation of men and women in politics.
In politics and economics when most people think of a president ,prime minister ,chairman of the board ,they think of a man despite the fact that women can and do hold these positions.
And in the realm of expertise, female journalists, doctors lawyers are still trusted less than their male counterparts by many people and are not even acknowledged to exist by many others .
Perhaps only in the realm of power based on attractiveness, charisma and personal magnetism do women power images compete with male ones.
Besides the act that females are more intelligent than their male counterparts, their power is being misconstrued as men perceive women need affection and safety and nothing else.
Therefore the predicament of ambitious women is that they end up being lonely and bitter as the feeling of abandonment for their brave stance gains momentum.
In this male dominated society, women’s only effective source of influence is beauty and sex appeal as they are being used in advertising products naked to speed up sales.
But then one wonders, is this why women have been heralding for their emancipation only to be used as sexual objects?
This is the time to change our mindset and not betray those who have fought for us to be emancipated.