Category Archives: CULTURE

Zimbabwe students fighting GBV on campus

Sex Rights Africa Network | @SexRightsAfrica

When female students at tertiary colleges and universities in Zimbabwe call for action against gender-based violence (GBV) and sexual harassment (SH) on campus, they need up-to-date statistics to back up their claims that this is a widespread problem.

Research undertaken by the Female Students Network Trust (FSNT) in Zimbabwe in 2015 presents a clear picture of the nature and extent of GBV and SH that students endure, and make recommendations for protecting survivors and holding perpetrators and authorities accountable for the abuse.

FSNT’s baseline study, conducted in universities, polytechnics and teachers’ colleges, with support from the Czech Embassy and the Students and Academics International Help Fund, covered ten tertiary institutions and included 3425 students and staff. It confirmed the students’ claims that GBV and SH were ‘rampant’ on campus, particularly sexual harassment of female students by male lecturers, fellow male students and non-academic male employees.

Key findings from the research include:

Of the 2114 female students who participated through the questionnaire, 94% reported having encountered SH, compared to 3% of the 672 male students;

    Of the 1987 female students who had encountered SH:

        16% of female students said they had been raped by male students and 5% had been raped by male lecturers and non-academic staff;

        13% of female students reported date rape in relationships with older men (lecturers and non-academic staff) and 46% in relationships with male students;

        16% reported having been forced into unprotected sex in sexual encounters with lecturers; 10% in sexual encounters with non-academic staff and 43% with male students;

        32% of female students reported having been coerced into drinking alcohol or injecting drugs by older men (lecturers and non-academic staff) during date outings and thereafter sexual assaulted. 48% of female students reported the same during date outings with male students;

        64% of male students said they had given money or gifts in exchange for sex in the last year and 42% of female students reported that they had received money or gifts in exchange for sex in the last year. (In focus group discussions, men said that having ‘invested’ in female students they would resort to violence if their partners refused to have sex with them or had sex with someone else);

        85% of respondents reported knowing female students who were once forced by campus-men to abort an unintended pregnancy;

        74% of female students encountered offers of ‘favours’ (good grades/marks, extra academic help and study aids) by lecturers and 83% encountered offers of ‘favours’ (food, accommodation, transport and money) by non-academic staff and students, all in exchange for sex or sexual relationships;

        67% experienced unwanted physical contact (touching, patting and hugging) by lecturers, non-academic staff and students;

        93% experienced inappropriate remarks about their gender and sexuality (including sarcastic criticism of their weight, body parts such as breasts and buttocks, skin complexion, hairdo, cosmetics, dressing) by mostly male students;

        91% encountered wolf whistling – and of the 672 male students who completed the questionnaire, 90% reported having wolf whistled at a female student;

        79% of female students reported being intentionally excluded from meetings and processes because they were being held at gender insensitive environments and times.

The vast majority (94%) of female students who experienced GBV or SH said that they would not report to the authorities. Most (63.5%) said they had disclosed to someone (family member, friend, intimate partner, room mate, fellow church member).

The main reason given for not reporting was not knowing how to do so. However, female students also reported that campus security were more concerned about preventing student unrest that dealing with issues of GBV and SH.

Reporting to intimate partners seldom resulted in cases being taken up through the college/university system and would often result in physical gang fights between involved males. Female students said that being identified as victims of GBV and SH through reporting would jeopardise their current and future intimate relations and social image, and subject them to campus gossip and further male student bullying.

Responses to questions about the reasons for GBV and SH reflect an entrenched patriarchal culture, with fixed, unequal gender norms and normalised victim-blaming. Both female and male students said wolf-whistling was due to young women wearing tight or revealing clothing. The males said they were less likely to wolf-whistle at students who dressed ‘decently’. The main reason given for unwanted physical contact by both male and female respondents was that female students had ‘unknowingly sent a wrong message’ to offenders, who were generally people they knew.

 The study found that ‘female students fail to live their college lives fully making unreasonable behavioral and life style adjustments fully because of fear of SH in their living and learning environments’.

 However, it seemed this strategy would be unlikely to protect them since male students reported intense pressure – from both male and female lecturers – to outperform female students, to show contempt, competition and indifference towards female students, and to call a male who did not perform ‘woman’. Female students who outperformed males would be called tom-boys or labelled as having ‘balls’. Some female students would behave in a submissive way to avoid this.

 Both male and female students during FGDs said that male lecturers viewed sex with female students as part of their supplementary job benefits just like medical aid in the context of low and often delayed salaries. Male lecturers in interviews denied this though they said it was part of beer talk. A high proportion of male lecturers said female students ‘enticed them’ into relationships.

The report notes that there have been some efforts by the Zimbabwe government to demonstrate its commitment to eradicating GBV and SH Government – for example the creation of a separate ministry responsible for gender and women affairs, which has put in place a national GBV strategy.

FSNT has used the findings of the study to formulate a Sexual Harassment Monitoring Mechanism (SHMM) for tertiary institutions and to provide recommendations for improving accountability of authorities on GBV. FSNT

 Director Evernice Munando says the Trust has been advocating and lobbying strongly for SH policy formulation and effective implementation, engaging Zimbabwe’s parliamentary portfolio committees on Gender and Education to expedite the processes. Munando reported in April 2016: “Some universities and colleges are responding well [and] Midlands State University (MSU) has recently made its policy.”

 Let’s orange Campuses and advocate to stop Sexual Harassment 

 Article first published on 04 May 2016 at http://www.sexrightsafrica.net

Video published by ItsOnUsCampaign

Advertisements

ASHLEY MORGEN CROWNED MISS TOURISM 2016

​NUST MARKETING student and Bulawayo contestant Ashley Morgen has been crowned Miss Tourism Zimbabwe 2016.

Morgen got her crown at a glamorous event held at the Rainbow Towers Hotel and Conference Centre on Friday.

Nonhlanhla Dube also named Miss Agro Tourism and Shirley-Ann Lindsey, Miss City Tourism were the  princesses.

Morgen walked away with a $20,000, a car and other prizes. Dube scooped $10,000 while Lindsay got $5,000.

The glamorous event set the standard for pageants for Zimbabwe for both presentation and prizes handed out. Some calls  have been made for the organisers under the leadership of Barbara Mzembi to take over the Miss Zimbabwe stewardship but we are pretty keen to see where next she will take what was a very successful campaign. 

Source:3mob.
 

Diary of a Zimbo studying Abroad: “Hong Kong culture more classist than racist”

by Getrude Gwenzi | @JusG_G  (tw)| Lingnan University-Hong Kong

I have been living in Hong Kong for a month now. I have been observing this society with interest and making my own observations so that I do not succumb to generalizations and assumptions of how Chinese people are or ought to be.

I want to tackle the subject  of racism which was really sparked by the following video:

To summarise; this black woman got onto the MTR (train service) and the moment she sat down the Chinese woman sitting next to her took out a tissue and covered her mouth. I MEAN!!!I would be outraged. I have been on the MTR myself in the past month and I must say I have observed some weird behaviors by some Chinese people(not all); such as:

  • choosing to leave their seat and stand up when you sit next to them
  • being stared at like you have done something wrong just by entering the train
  • refusing to even touch you or your elbow even when the train is clearly full and it cannot be avoided

But someone covering their mouth after you sit next to them???I don’t think I would have this woman’s courage to stand up and speak against such behavior. So this post also applauds her confidence and pride in herself as a black person in Hong Kong. It sparked a lot of debate around racism and basic ignorance of some Chinese people which explains their behavior towards minorities.

“…if this is such a modern society why are we still having labels at all?…”

I decided to read further about how black people are generally perceived in Hong Kong. The truth is we (black people) are a minority and although Hong Kong is described as a diverse, first world city; there are not many black people relocating to this city in their numbers. Mainland China seems to have the greater numbers of black people living there. So I came across an article stating that Hong Kong is in essence a classist society not a racist society. This means no matter what race you are, if you look like you are upper class you will be treated with respect.

If you dress like the Hong Kong people; that is wearing flashy designer clothes and watches then they will not feel threatened by you being black. The general assumption is that black people relocating to Hong Kong are usually academics with high academic qualifications or they own businesses and come to Hong Kong on business  and return to their countries. So these groups are not discriminated against and they are not that many to even worry about.

The Filipinos, Indonesians and other East Asian minorities are the ones with the “poor illegal immigrant” label in Hong Kong,not black people. This is only because of our small numbers so this is a mild comfort. Does it make it OK though?

My question is if this is such a modern society why are we still having labels at all? Why do we only respect blacks when they are educated and belonging to the upper class? So you are going to cover your nose when the “ordinary looking” black person sits next to you and you call yourself evolved? I know that any capitalist country will have classism as an issue and that is a whole other battle to fight. Our humanity is such that we fear anything that is different from us and we would rather not associate with it. And by “we” I mean all of us. Even black people say racist things about Chinese people and that is not OK either. It is our lack of understanding and it is sad that it has been discussed over and over and yet there is still no one with a solution to the problem.

My social investigations continue…but the experiences of that young woman and her mother on the MTR show that racism is alive and will not be going anywhere anytime soon…

Article first published on Getty’s personal blog: https://moretogetty.wordpress.com .Getty @jusgee_gee (IG), has bagged 2 degrees already and has just started work on her 3rd, a PHD. She’s in Hong Kong and is happy to share her experiences with all of us. Read On!!

 

IGNORANCE: A NEW THREAT TO OUR HERITAGE

by Sineke Sibanda| @sinekesibanda image credit:awhf.net

“A person without knowledge of their history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots”

Over the years, the continuous cycle of inscribing and delisting heritage sites has been gradually ongoing and has become a core part of our tradition. We all just have an idea that we have been inscribed as a world heritage site today and years later we will be fighting hard to save that site from being registered in the endangered list of sites. Mostly this of course owes to a vast changing climate we probably all believe we have little control over, on the other hand, it is the competing needs to balance development on the sites without disturbing their natural beauty.

As much as these sites have been so integral in our lives and that of our history, there is another factor which has tentatively threatened increasing their vulnerability. I have been coerced to believe that every heritage site is at risk, risk of losing its universal outstanding value, owing to the vast ignorance the prospective future citizens has about these cultural and natural landscapes.

 

In basic terms, outstanding universal value (OUV) in heritage generally refers to the meaning that our heritage whether tangible or intangible, cultural or natural has. That which makes it unique to all of us. For a place like Great Zimbabwe, the OUV is that it is a self-sustaining rock structure with no mortar or clay that has intactly existed since about 1100AD. For a place like the Robben Island, its OUV would be its location and being the symbol of the triumph of the human spirit against adversity. The unique reason which makes a heritage entity what it is.

A lack of awareness is a growing threat to heritage sites in most African countries. I was privileged enough to attend the first African World Heritage Youth Forum held in Cape Town, South Africa from the 28th  of April to the 5th of May 2016. During the forum, sponsored by UNESCO and the African World Heritage Fund, it was revealed that a lack of awareness on the meaning of heritage in all the 23 countries represented was prevalent and this posed a risk that this lack of appreciation of heritage would run most sites into shadows of irrelevance and extinction.

ignorance-is-bliss
image cred:sirenconsultingfirm.com

It is sad today that to most young people in Zimbabwe, the Great Zimbabwe are just rocks, a few young people understand the significance, the roots and the identity that site has for any Zimbabwean. In one of my conversations after the forum with one of the most esteemed Zimbabwean ‘heritagist’, Pathisa Nyathi, a lack of appreciation was cited. He brought to context the Matobo Hills which were inscribed by UNESCO as a world heritage site in 2003 saying that the hills are under threat from local young boys who normally do cattle herding and in cold weather sometimes make fire in the bushmen caves where some rock paintings are found. This meant that the paintings are slowly becoming covered by smoke. He insisted that it was not their fault that such is happening because they do not even know what heritage is, let alone its importance and relevance to their daily living.

The future deserves all the opportunities we have had too. It is also our mandate to read about heritage, share stories about it. In essence, it is our collective responsibility to ensure our participation in key decisions that affect our heritage, because besides being just sites or traditional practices, our heritage bears our roots and identity. I would love to close off by quoting one South African lady I met during the forum. She writes: “A person without knowledge of their history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. As I walk away from ignorance.” (Mmapule. P.  Maluleke, 2016).

(The word ‘heritagist’ is the author’s colloquial creation to explain a heritage expert.)

PAUDC Championship Comes To Zim

Staff Reporter

The Midlands State University has won the bid to host the Pan African Universities Debate Championship (PAUDC) in December 2016. The council committee accepted and approved Midlands State University to be the Host for the 2016 PAUDC.

This year’s championship will be held under the theme ‘Madzimbabwe’ derived from the ancient Zimbabwean empire Great Zimbabwe from which the country takes its name.

According to a statement from the MSU, this PAUDC will be the 9th edition of this prestigious competition.

The statement also emphasised that the competition is a great marketing and economic booster to Zimbabwe and the city of Gweru as hundreds of foreigners will be visiting the country and using  various services, products and infrastructure. This year will see a trophy being made in Zimbabwe that will be used for all future tournaments held by the PAUDC.

All events surrounding debate will be presented as ‪#‎road2madzimbabwe16‬.’We are honoured to follow this journey towards PAUDC 2016 in Zimbabwe!’, read part of the statement.

The MSU has consistently participated well in the previous competitions. The following exhibits the magnitude of achievements and honours the  Debaters won:

History made at PAUDC 2015 in Ghana

MSU was the 1st Zimbabwean Debate team to have all its teams breaking into the Octo Finals
MSU was the 1st Debate team to have a Female Public Speaking Champion
MSU was the 1st Zimbabwean Debate Team to be awarded best Adjudicator in Public Speaking
MSU was the 1st Zimbabwean institution to have two of their teams in the PAUDC semi-finals
MSU set a Zimbabwean record of having two teams breaking with a total of 20 team points
MSU is the 1st Zimbabwean institution to have teams breaking in the top 3 (2 MSU teams were in the top 3)
MSU was the 1st Zimbabwean Debate team to be in the PAUDC Finals
Awards & Achievements

2016 PAUDC official Hosts
PAUDC Council Deputy Executive Secretary
Overall Zimbabwe Best Speakers Award
Top Ten Best Speaker Award (position 4)
PAUDC Public Speaking Best Adjudicator
Top Ten Best Adjudicator Award (position 8)
PAUDC Octo-finalist (1 Team)
PAUDC Semi-finalist (1 Team)
PAUDC Finalist (1 team)
PAUDC Public Speaking Champions

( In picture: Eppnoggia Mutetwa, PAUDC 2015 Public speaking Champion)

‘The strong man inside her…’

Nomathemba Zondo

Have you ever appreciated the fact that you are a woman? Have you ever given yourself time to figure out why God made you to be who you are today and most importantly to be woman? Well, it is because you are a special creation which is strong enough to carry the burdens of the universe and to keep on keeping on just hoping for a better tomorrow.

Though society has often cultivated this mentality that women are sex objects and are subjects to male gaze,  I know for a fact that women are better than that. They are strong human beings who always push for things until they get results.

I appreciate the mother that I have  because through her I learnt that anything is possible and i can surely do ‘bad all by myself“. Yes she is married to my dad, she is a wife but that never stopped her from dreaming big. My mom never had the time to wait for my dad all day long to come back home from work then serve him with food and then go to sleep then do the exact thing the same day. She would wake up in the morning and go look for money by sellingamabhele (second hand clothes) so that me and my brother could go to school and have a bright future.

Despite the fact that this woman never had the opportunity to go to school because she grew up in a very patriarchal home where they believed there was no use of taking a girl child to school since she was going to get married and the husband would take care of her, she grew up and reversed this whole ideology by working hard to earn a living so as to also provide for the family.

She would spend sleepless nights on the road just to try and earn a living and not depend on her husband not because my dad was not earning enough but because she knew how to play her role as a woman. Just because society has constantly reminded you that you are a woman and your role is in the kitchen does not mean you have to stay in the kitchen!

I’m so inspired by her because I am the lady that I am today because of her. I know that being a woman does not bring limitations but its actually a bonus because i can give birth and  do more than the society thinks I’m capable of. As we approach the woman’s month, lets celebrate who we are as women. Embrace who you are because it takes you to empower yourself before you empower others.

Just like the economy, Zim’s education is headed for the drain

Sineke Sibanda

A statement from the University of Zimbabwe Students Representative Council caused my heart to sink for a while and to think that Zimbabwe was once known for the best brains in Africa, it would hurt to now think that it could all turn out to be a façade. It was ludicrously unbelievable that the breadbasket of Africa could turn out to be a bread-beggar as evidenced with recent news on shortages of various basic commodities such as maize among others. Sure, just like how the economy which was on the same performing level with that of China and Thailand in terms of GDP per capita in 1985 and now is missing in the global rankings, Zimbabwe’s education may take that route too, its standard recognition is close to being extinct.

A decade ago, industries were complaining that most universities were churning out students who lacked industrial backbone and suffered from knowledge deficiency. Come to think of it, by then, government was still subsidizing these tertiary institutions. Now that the government has put a full stop to that, I guess the country is yet to see the worst; a depreciation in education delivery, depreciation in student performance, depreciation in students’ lifestyles and a depreciation of the country, all because of the money, education has been moved from the centre, and money has taken the place. The institutions do need money, yes! But should it not be proportional to the service rendered?

Depreciation in education delivery will be inevitable at the once sunshine school of the country as the institution seeks to increase the number of students by means of instituting two intakes every year without instituting any adjustment to the staff and facilities at the college. One can only imagine that if a lecturer was attending to 40 students in one class in each stream, he or she had about 120-160 students every year. With the second intake, it means we multiply 120 by two, which gives us 240. Suffice not comment on the numbers, you can surely see the ridiculous mockery and insult to the education system. Is it just about the degree or it is also about the genuine quality of the degree? With time, Zimbabwe’s once recognized degrees in most developed countries will begin to be bogus and mere papers certifying students’ incompetence.

Another issue is the issue of students’ residential area. As we speak, the university of Zimbabwe cannot cater for all students’ accommodation. So where is the new crop of students joining in going to stay? Ordinarily, the general populace in Zimbabwe is broke and lives under $0.30 a day; there will obviously be need for new houses to be built, who will build them? The rich politicians? This reminds me of a concept mastered by a former students leader, Takura Zhangazha, ‘Disaster Capitalism’, a situation where you create a disaster and then you profit/benefit from it. This disaster being created here, from a distance looks so thoughtful, reasonable and absolute but in essence, someone has created an opportunity to loot from the already broke parents sending their children to school.

There has been a shift in dimensions in the policy of privatizing education, starting with the creation of many informal colleges, gradual increase in intakes every year, introduction of multi-campussing and that of annual double intakes pioneered by the Midlands State University. The goalposts have been disoriented and this has justified a nature of not exercising our intelligence in constructing counter proactive strategies other than all these reactionary strategies we are now implementing and are hurting every Zimbabwean. So you mean no one in the aging government foresaw the dwindling of funds and then advised on instigating a counter plan or a fundraising strategy to salvage any shortfalls? You mean all the other universities across the world are dependent on their governments to fund them? What other fundraising projects could be run to make colleges self-sustaining? Just last year, the UZ churned out 3 451 graduates, and you mean none of them had a research that could be pursued and later pay back or generate income for the university. If not, then what function are the colleges serving if they are not academically solving contemporary problems.

For how long has been the UZ since inception churning out students, how many researches have paid back in that big pool of graduates? This is so ridiculous, a lot of people have not been doing their jobs in these varsities other than slouching in their big chairs thinking of the next gimmick to generate and steal from students. What have the universities been investing in? One of the reasons why this country has taken a downward turn is because of the degrees awarded to selfish administrators with little or no brains at all.

This whole drama can be summed up in the words of one particular UZ professor who said the problem with Zimbabwe is that people want economic indigenisation without economic empowerment. There is lack of foresight, sustainable strategies and the ability to think beyond the obvious. The government can continue cutting all they want on staff, increasing the number of intakes and or of students, but this is all cosmetic and reactionary. There is need for winning strategies and genuine people doing their job, otherwise the country is headed for the doldrums; a point of no return…

One Thing You Must Do To Be A Successful Single

What if we could lead a successful single life by letting God work in us to be the person he wants us to be?
#Relationships #ChristianLiving

ISIDINGO (THE NEED)

By Samantha Kuboni| NUST-ZW

Like a single pregnant woman, I have a need.

The kind that does not stop me from eating or wanting food that is out of season.

Like a drug addict, it does not get any better because the cravings are ulcerating,

cutting through my intestine,

making me bend over in agony.

Just like an abondoned baby with a cold cutting down its tiny spine,

tormented by hunger and yearning for its mother’s love…

I can not stop crying.

Like thirst that cannot can not be quenched

This need that I cannot satisfy is torture.

It is that kind of need.

I yearn for my mother’s love.

I can not shake off the disappointment that I have

to have to face the ills of this world without my rock

Left in the cold by cruel fate,

There are so many things that she could have taught me,

but one cannot choose how their life is to be.

I am saddened and burdened,

that there will be great & bitter moments in my life…

worthy to share, enjoy and lament with her,

unfortunately she is gone.

As i grow older and mature,

the ache for my mother’s love does not disappear…

it keeps knocking.

It is that kind of need…

Image Credits: quotesgram.com

Of stinking opinions ‘Why you mustn’t marry any Zim woman who is 25 years older’

vimbaimandiri

I am not yet 25. I will be 25 soon. I don’t foresee marriage on the table by the time I’m 25. I’m not a seer, I just prefer to get married later than 25, if I get married before 25 it will be a good thing. If I get married after 25 or way after 25 it should still be a good thing.

Now, when I read the article about why one must not marry a woman who is 25 years or older I laughed. I laughed because I thought the author was really funny and had a ‘sweetish’ imagination. In my laughter I was offended, offended because I am a woman. Offended because of the way this author chose to depict a woman’s worth. But then, it was just an opinion-like armpits we all have them-yet some stink.

His opinion ignited a heated debate in the NUST library…

View original post 432 more words