Economic and social empowerment of marginalized young girls and women

A Peacemaking Project by .

What is the injustice we are solving?

In Zimbabwe especially in Masvingo province there is a high rate of gender based violence especially on young girls and women. There is no equal educational opportunities, girls and women are regarded as second class citizens, there is no justice of rape perpetrators. In some religious groups girls are married at the age of 14 to a 50 year old man. Some are being exchanged with food hampers, hence i and the organisation we are working with, 'Girl Child Empowerment of Zimbabwe', we are against such acts as it derprives young girls their right of choice and to fulfill their full potential.

Our Compassionate Solution:

To solve this injustice of Forced marriages is the injustice that we want to solve which is leading to forced early marriages. The impact of forced marriages yields nagative results on the educational and economic aspects on women.This injustice is as a result of lack of cultural dynamics amongst community members and the society at large. 2. To solve this we are going to embark on an inclusive community dialogue meeting and capacitate each other in a bid to curb forced marriages
we will address Since most of the gender inequalities and constraints to education emanate from the deeply entrenched cultural values, attitudes and practices of the parents and the community opinion leaders and the community members in general, it requires the communitys effort to change them. Many communities see such practices as the enshrinement of their identity and survival and they take it as their sacred duty to protect and perpetuate such practices. As such, we are going to engage and capacity build the community of the need to change such practices, promote gender equality and economic empowerment for young girls and women. We are going to address this by engaging parents and community leaders, including the chiefs, worked together towards increasing enrolment of girls and eliminating early marriage. This included the following action, 1. Sensitizing parents, especially fathers, on the importance of girls education and the disadvantages of early marriage. 2. Bringing the chiefs and sub chiefs together to analyze the status of girls education in their areas and the negative impact on the development of their areas. 3.Each chief formulating their own areas work plan on how they wished to address the gender constraints to girls education. We do believe that an educated woman is an empowered women. 4. Training of young girls on behaviour change and taking charge of their lives
by Doing community sensitazation on the negative impact of forced marriages in relation to educuation and economic growth. This going to be achieved through an Involvement, engagement and transforming the community into a gender responsive environment physically, academically and socially. By training of trainers programs, on the negative impact of forced marriage to the community.

Our Project Plan:

Goals

  • Our goal is to create equal educational opportunities and economically empower young girls and women
  • To send every girl child in school and promote gender equity in line with SDG3 and 5
  • To erradicate poverty and have equal access to resources for young girls and women in the community.
  • To create equality and equity in terms of educational opportunities, which is also a way to curb early and forced marriages
  • To end early and forced marriages

We will increase my / our compassion by...

We are going to make sure that every girl child have access to education and community resources as the boy child. We are going to engage even community leaders on our compassion so that it will have impact as they are the most listened. About 6 schools are going to benefit from this project. We are going to target 50 young girls. We will engage local leaders to help their community erradicate poverty which is the main driver fueling child marriages.

How will you show courage?

We are going to show courage by engaging all like minded organisations including engagement of public officials who are the parliamentarians, they help us in making in fully implementing our cause of concern and the minister of women and youth affairs on our activities. We are also going to show courage through reaching out to marginalized communities, to which others do not want due to its accessibility although there are many cases of women suppression.

How will you collaborate with others?

We are going to collaborate with like-minded organisations inclusive of the ministry of women and youth affairs. The ministry of women affairs is going to assist in making sure that all young girls and women empowerment pieces of legislation are taken into account. It is going to play a watch dog role in our project implementation. The ministry is also going to help us with reading material in different languages for our community to have access to information. We are going to engage public officials, that is elected members of parliament who will help us carry out issues to the parliament so that it will be a national issue

How will you know you are moving in the right direction? (What are specific ways you can measure your impact?)

We are going to use our already existing community score cards, they are going to help us doing monitoring and evaluation. A community score card is a tool that we are going to use through engagement of the community around issues of our project title. We are going to do a pre and post evaluation, that is before we implement our project we are going to ask and record on the current situation in relation to our goals, that is equal educational attainment. During the implemention we are going to engage the communities again recording on the current affairs in relation to our goals. The decision will help us see if we are on the right direction. If not it will also help us see on what is to be done. For example in our scenario it will be marked from 0-10, that is in community A, number of girls going to school before project implementation, maybe 3 out of 10, during maybe 5 out of 10 and after maybe 8 out of 10, in such a scenario this card will be showing the impact of our project and decision making in the event that there is little to no impact. This is a self evaluation tool and can be used for social accountability as well. Our scored card will be named 'education score card' it helps in decision making and helps us in giving direction during project implementation.

Key Steps

  • We are going to use an education score card
  • Engage the school to find out the level of young girls enrolled in comparison to that of their male counterparts
  • Engage the communities in finding out information on if they are sending every child in school
  • The last step is to gather data and make a well informed decision in making sure that young girls and women are being sent ti school and have access to resources

Reflection:

How did the project deepen your team's understanding of the injustice?

The project is a success and interesting especially on the part of meaningfully engaging local leaders. They felt to have been left behind and are so much interested to join the peace movement. This project ended up being owned by the community and write now women's rights are also regarded as human rights. We have capacitated a number of women's rights champions, who vowed to continue advocating for what is right even beyond our project

How did your community change as a result of your project?

the perception towards women by their male counterparts. women are now treated as human rights not second class citizens.

How many people were impacted by your project?

250

Explain how you came up with the number of people impacted by the project?

we engaged like minded organisations and, schools and communities

How did your team learn more about the people affected by the injustice?

the members have learnt through participating and facilitating during community dialogue and training of trainers

What did your team learn?

That women's rights are human rights and also that traditional leaders likes to be incorporated and capacitated in terms of community development and championing gender equality. We have learnt that given the chance the girl child can do the same like their male counterparts and also that for a community to develop, women must be encoperated

What challenges did your team overcome?

the challenges of accessing the areas. some of the places are too remove that we spent most of our time going there instead of capacitating the communities.

How have you involved others in designing, carrying out, or expanding this project?

we have engaged local community radios and schools for the success of this project. we believe that no one is a jack of all trades, we have to complement each other's effort

What advice would you give to someone starting a peacemaking project?

Hard work and perseverance can change people's lives.

Our Updates:

. 6 May 2019 7:29 Girl Child Empowerment of Zimbabwe organization with support from PEACE FIRST, embarked on a community dialogue meeting in Chiredzi district. The dialogue meeting was between the community members and the organization in a training on how best we can economically empower young girls and women also with the intention of sending every child to school. During the dialogue meeting women shared that whilst the rhetoric of women engagement is known, many young girls and women felt that in practical terms they still face discrimination. For example being actively excluded from high level meetings and tokenistic participation in forums without any real opportunities to influence decision makers. During the community dialogue meeting it was noted that there is a general decrease in prioritization of health, SRHR services and economic empowerment projects in marginalized areas because of poor road networks and ignorance by the government. It was noted that the government is prioritizing other issues such as winning elections and using young girls and women as political weapons.
Another gave issue of concern was about many laws , some back dating in 1980 before independence but valid still today, are not aligned with contemporary treaties and commitments on gender equality and SRHR in Chiredzi district in Masvingo Zimbabwe. Chiredzi is a district on the southern part of Zimbabwe which is characterized by deep cultural and religious beliefs which does not recognize the girl child. The district is patriarchy in such a way that women are treated as second class citizens and in most cases they are treated as decision takers not makers. The meeting was concluded as the organization is prepared to engage local schools and teachers before engaging policy makers, traditional leaders and all stakeholders. The activity was in support from our Great Zimbabwe University Girl Child Empowerment Club members.
Girl

. 6 May 2019 7:32

Empowering communities through use of local media platforms

. 6 May 2019 7:41 Girl Child Empowerment of Zimbabwe with the support from Peace First embarked on a project which aims to strategically position young girls and women in rural marginalized Chiredzi. We have engaged the communities and traditional leaders with the intention of making them agents of change and champions of women’s rights which are also human rights. The project was a success because traditional leaders agreed to be agents of change and demanded that they must be meaningfully engaged during community dialogue meetings and other community activities. Girl Child Empowerment of Zimbabwe through its director have engaged and agreed to continue working with local community radio stations in moving the motion of creating equality and equity within the communities. Girl Child Empowerment Peace First project has signed a memorandum of understanding with HEVOI FM, and agreed that every Monday we are going to have a slot to discuss on the issues affecting young girls and women. The project was a success because everyone contributed and gave solutions towards our objectives. It was pathetic on the side of traditional leaders because project came to an end whilst they wanted more capacity building trainings and be peace first gender ambassadors.

. 6 May 2019 7:42

. 6 May 2019 7:47 Women’s rights are human rights’ and when you educate the girl child, you have educated a nation. It was a more interesting visit by the Girl Child Empowerment of Zimbabwe to another secondary school in the province of Masvingo. Nandi Secondary School is located in Chiredzi district in Masvingo province in the southern part of Zimbabwe. The last visit was between the community members and the organization where issues around sending every child to school was discussed, causes of child marriages, forced marriages and this community visit was a peer to peer training with children at Nandi Secondary school, targeting the girl child.
The project is being implemented by Girl Child Empowerment of Zimbabwe and funded by Peace First. During the training of trainers it was pathetic that most girls are affected by deep rooted cultural and religious beliefs in the community, which does allow give them equal education opportunities as their male counterparts. On another sad note, most teachers are not child friendly and does not give the girl child any space to share issues which affect them and by day end many cases of school dropout are being witnessed. During the peer to peer training it was pointed out that access to SRHR information in the district is constrained by legal, cultural and policy barriers such as parental consent requirements for adolescents and youth including access to HIV/AIDS testing.
During the training it was also noted out that young girls in Chiredzi area are also faced with high cases of forced and child marriages, spousal consent requirements also put young women and girls at increased risk of high HIV infection, school dropout and forced marriages. On this case the organization noted that limited access to accurate, high quality, evidence-informed information, education and data on SRHR jeopardizes young girls and women’s education, health and survival especially in marginalized areas. The training proved to be a success it was pointed out that education supports capacity of young people to protect their health, rights and dignity and to stand up to discrimination and violence. One student pointed it out that for a community and a nation to be a success and to improve young girls and women’s access to education and SRHR services there must be change at policy level that is young people must be included and engaged during the development and implementation process of policy making. The meeting ended on a high note as the organization through its director Tatenda Maposa are going to engage duty bearers and traditional leaders on the next meeting in making sure that everyone in the community is a champion of women’s rights which are also human rights.
Children

Peer to peer training at Ndarama High School

. 6 May 2019 7:53 Girl Child Empowerment conducted a peer to peer training at Ndarama High School in Masvingo. The passion for lifting the banner of the girl child saw the organization carrying out a workshop with students. The peer to peer training was aimed at presenting some lectures on the issues affecting girl child in high schools and these includes gender discrimination, girl child abuse, rampant unreported rape cases, unequal education opportunities and age gap relationships. During the visit it was noted that a number of students are afraid to report any form of abuse to their teachers as they at times have sour relationships. During the workshop it was also said that age gap relationships are the engine driving to the spread of epidemic and pandemic diseases. It was also pointed out that age gap relationships does not only left permanent scars of being misused but they can as well leave you with incurable diseases, fatherless children and sadly no career prospects for the girl child. The issue of age gap relationship is one of the topic presented and was well received with utmost zeal by the students as stakeholders. More than 250 students attended the peer to peer training workshop and it was so interactive to an extent that a number of participates have started coming to us with their different issues affecting them. Horror stories were narrated by the students in regard to how abuse is being carried out in the streets, at home and as well as in the process of learning.
For the purposes of attaining equal education opportunities, the Girl Child Empowerment of Zimbabwe gave away sanitary pads to all outstanding participants, and some were given to the school senior lady to help students at school. The director of the organization Maposa Tatenda vowed that he is going to work with likeminded organizations and all stakeholders in making sure that young girls are strategically positioned and able to articulate their individual rights. Ndarama high school senior teacher thanked the organization for the well-done job and she further urged girls and boys to work extra hard in their studies and avoid sugar daddies because they can hinder their academic progress.

Comments:

Joramu M.
2 June 2018 1:53

I'll use my social media accounts to let the world aware of the miserable gender bias and discrimination that is going on in Zimbabwe.
#ShareYourIntel
#BattleForHumanity  

Amani A. Peace First Staff
2 March 2018 20:06

Welcome to Peace First community, Tatenda! Thanks for sharing your project with us!

As part of the process of completing peacemaking projects, Peace First staff give formal feedback on important steps of the project. One of those steps is the compassionate insight.

I have noticed that at the beginning you raised two injustices; the Gender-Based Violence (Rape issue) and the Gender Equality (unequal access to education for women and girls). Then, you focused in your compassionate insight on the gender-based violence with a main focus on the Child Marriage issue! Therefore, I would encourage you to spend some time to work towards deepening your understanding of this issue, by: (1) talking to other people in your community to get their perspective and (2) using the Problem-Solution Tree to discover the root causes and consequences of your chosen injustice, and it will guide you to more solutions. Here are some resources on how to do that: https://www.peacefirst.org/understand-through-compassion
https://www.peacefirst.org/resource/understand-2-problem-and-solution-trees

Please make sure to re-write your compassionate insight and make it as clear as you can so other Peace First members would understand it better.

Thanks again for sharing your project with Peace First members, and we are looking forward to your next steps of the project!

Please let us know how can we help.  

.
2 March 2018 6:07

This opportunity will help me, my organisation and community in repositioning young girls and women  

Amani A. Peace First Staff
26 September 2018 12:46

Tatenda - How are you doing? Any update on the progress of your project? We would love to support your work.

Please make sure to take into consideration the provided feedback.

Please let me know if you need any help.  

Ham Za F.
2 December 2018 12:38

My projet
The Ilane association cares for children lacking support through the various activities it provides to preserve their reintegration into society.
What are our goals ?
The association Ilane seeks to achieve the following purposes:
- The contribution for the psychological and social supervision of the children concerned.
- The establishment of a club for poor children by giving them the maximum possible cultural, theatrical, artistic and sports activities.
- The contribution to activate the legal framework relating to the protection of the child against any violation.
- The organization of awareness activities that target the social environment of the child.
- The development of relations and collaborations with associations, organizations and specialized structures inside and outside.
- The provision of an environment conducive to children that guarantees them health, social, educational and psychological services to start their integration into society through the creation of a private center with modern specifications.  

Amani A. Peace First Staff
3 December 2018 10:49

Tatenda, thanks for submitting your mini-grant request. Please make sure to read the International Verification Process here (the last question in the list): https://www.peacefirst.org/faq

Also, make sure to fill the following form: http://bit.ly/2EO4tzb

I look forward to receiving the required documents.

Please let me know if you need any help.
 

Amani A. Peace First Staff
10 January 2019 11:21

Dear Tatenda, I hope you are doing very well.

I sent you an email regarding our call tomorrow! I look forward to speaking with you.

Best,
Amani  

MBAINE C.
19 February 2019 22:46

Dear Tatenda, thanks so much for this compassionate move towards fighting for women and girls' rights in Zimbabwe. However, i have noticed you have not concretely focused on the one challenge you want to address. I have noticed that you are not showing us the root cause of for example child marriages because if you do not address the root cause, it would mean that at some point, this challenge would come up again.

what is the sustainability plan for this project?
I have also noticed you have mixed up objectives with the 'goal' of the project, is it possible to separate them?
Is it possible to give us statistics, how many women/girls are affected? (am thinking this is important as it will help to measure your impact as you evaluate the project)

On the part of collaboration, who are your key stakeholders in this project? are other organisations already aware of this project or you will just engage them as soon as you start? (This can sometimes be tricky especially if you don't plan in advance). What is the government policy on girl child Education, child marriages etc? What are the roles of probation officers, child protection unit, etc?

Otherwise, thank you for this piece, you are good to go. Don't forget to work as a team.  

.
19 February 2019 23:53

Warm greetings.

Thank you for the feedback. There are so many issues contributing to child marriages such as deep rooted cultural beliefs, lack or relaxation of laws which empower young girls and women. Lack of knowledge from some parents in the area, that women's rights are also human rights and above all poverty is the main driver to child marriages. An empowered people will definately mean that our project will self sustain. We are going to empower our local leaders, parents and teachers on the issue around child marriages, hence they are going to play the role of agents of change.

Our objectives are to capacitate all local stakeholders around child marriage. We would also like to encooperate local stakeholders and like-minded organisations such as the ministry of youth and women affairs, to which we are already working together in other spheres and its easy for us to engage them on this project. Other stakeholders are teachers, to which some are already part of our community structure, whom we call AAG, action for accountability groups. The laws are there, policies are there but at one point there is poor implemantation especially from local leaders as at times they put the law under the table and do as they feel like to do.

The planning is already in place. Some of the information we spoke and shared with Amina, if i am correct.

NB. I think we have an issue around my country that it is not able to implement or recieve funding maybe due to our local leaders who are under sanctions or if i am correct. We started this project around last year and up to this year we have not made it at last. I do not know how best you can assist because we had already used our local resources, printed some t-shirts, materials with peace project logo, but we are stuck as we are still waiting to receive our small grant  

Andrea C. Peace First Staff
20 February 2019 9:53

Hi Tatenda,

My name is Andrea, and I'm a member of the Peace First team. Thank you for your constant peacemaking work and for all the support you are providing to children in Zimbabwe. Amani will be sending you an email to answer your questions and to update you on the mini-grant application.

Please let me know if you have additional questions. I am here to help.

Best,
Andrea  

Andrea C. Peace First Staff
20 February 2019 9:48

Hi MBaine,

My name is Andrea, and I'm a member of the Peace First team. Thanks for the engagement you are having with the young people and for providing suggestions on their projects. We have received your mentor application, and Adrian will be contacting you soon with next steps.

If you have additional questions, please let me know. I am happy to help!

Best,

Andrea
-Program Associate  

Blessing S.
1 March 2019 7:45

This is a great project been carried out by Tatenda M. in Masvingo province in Zimbabwe helping the young girls and women by bringing an end to early marriage and stopping gender inequality in the community.This will involve the traditional rulers and Heads in the community and also the parents, this project will have great impact in the community and every young girl and women can live their life productively and exploit every God given potentials in them without being scared of getting married early or not having the opportunity to education.this project does not only touch the girl and women but also the community because when a community has educate,happy and reproductive women that community will be a peaceful one, when a woman has no form of education she really can offer little with struggles which in turn can produce nuisance children in the community.So i say it is a GREAT WORK BEEN DONE BY TATENDA M. IN MASVINGO PROVINCE  

Amani A. Peace First Staff
5 April 2019 10:38

Dear Tatenda,

Would you mind start adding updates on the progress of your project, please?

Please let me know if you need any help.

Best,
Amani  

Moses N.
16 April 2019 13:42

I have learned great insights from this project especially on educating the local stake holders,hence making them agents of change.  

Dr. Amos O.
17 April 2019 18:55

No doubt, this is a project of value and is highly recommended and commendable for execution.