Bi-Weekly activity update.

Aspiring women leaders from Chiredzi displaying their products

i) Virtual Transformative Feminist Leadership training for aspiring women leaders in Seke Chitungwiza.

The Women’s Academy for Leadership and Political Excellence (WALPE) between 13-16 July 2021, successfully conducted virtual Transformative Feminist Leadership trainings for 100 aspiring women leaders from Seke, Chitungwiza on the zoom platform.

The four-day intensive trainings saw women, women with disabilities and young women from different political and socio-economic backgrounds converging online to be capacitated with skills and knowledge on the following topics: Political Career Development, Introduction to Feminism, Building and Managing a Campaign, Introduction to Public Service and Volunteerism, Non-Violent Campaign Strategies, Introduction to Climate Change, Resilience Building and Social Accountability, Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) and Adjusting to the new Norm: How to utilize social media for campaigns, etc.

The intensive trainings are aimed at capacitating women with leadership skills to prepare them for public office especially as the nation gears up for the 2023 polls. The participants identified some of the factors inhibiting them from fully participating in leadership and decision making processes which include patriarchy, illiteracy and lack of identification documents to register to vote and also register as candidates.

Some of the action plans agreed during the workshops which WALPE and the aspiring women leaders are going to follow up on include:

Assisting aspiring women leaders with acquiring identification particulars (IDs).

Continuous engagements and sharing of educational material on leadership through the established social media fora.

Mobilizing, facilitating and assisting first time female voters to register to vote.

Assist aspiring women leaders to prepare for forthcoming political parties’ primary elections ahead of by elections and 2023 elections.

Engaging men and boys to support women leadership and end all forms of violence against women and girls.

ii)A Network of Women-Led CBOs set to be launched.

A network that coordinates women-led Community Based Organizations (WeCBOs) is set for launching by WALPE in Mutare in September 2021. The coalition seeks to broaden the scope of operations of women-led CBOs and enhance their participation in political leadership and community development.

WeCBOs is a coalition platform for networking, peer learning, fundraising, strategic collaborations, movement building and institutional capacity strengthening of member organizations. It endeavours to devise common strategies for collaboration in enhancing community development work. Furthermore, the WeCOBs seek to contribute to unlocking the potential within women-led CBOs to fully achieve their results.

Women-led CBOs are organic groups of women leaders who are doing a lot of good work in terms of promoting the empowerment of women and girls at community level. Considering that they reside in communities, relate with community members on a day to day basis, they are more knowledgeable of community priorities and needs. These women leaders have been doing tremendous work with very little resources and recognition hence the move to set up a network for collective organizing, fundraising and programme implementation.

Currently WeCBOs has a total membership of 25 women-led CBOs drawn from all the 10 provinces in Zimbabwe. These are women working in the following thematic areas: gender based violence, sexual reproductive health rights, climate justice, social service delivery, peace building and conflict transformation, democracy and governance, elections and access to education and IT for women and girls including women with disabilities. WALPE will also implement its flagship leadership academy project and train women leaders and emerging leaders affiliated and working with the CBOs as part of a continuous political leadership mentorship and educational process.

For an organisation to be a member, it should be led by a woman, should be community centred and its primary mandate being promoting the rights of women, women with disabilities, young women and girls.

iii)Aspiring women leaders exceling in social entrepreurship projects.

As part of its goal to enhance women’s political participation, WALPE provided seed funding for small income generating projects to aspiring women leaders trained in transformative feminist leadership and social entrepreurship. The women leaders are undertaking various projects which include poultry, running a bakery and buying and selling of various household goods. Some of the beneficiaries have managed to revolve their funds every three months to enable other women aspiring leaders to benefit and create sources of income. The IGPs have been functional since November 2020.

The beneficiaries were also trained on how to produce washable face masks and hand sanitizers which have been instrumental in combating the spread of COVID19 in their communities. From a   research conducted by WALPE in 2019, it revealed that the participation of women in politics was being limited by lack of funds to facilitate political campaigns hence the need to give them an economic boost.

Women are also facing the brunt of the COVID19 pandemic on the economy as the burden of unpaid care and domestic work weigh heavily on them hence the IGPs are helping in cushioning them and improving their livelihoods.

Some of the achievements recorded thus far…

  • Improved source of income for beneficiaries which has resulted in raised standards of living at family level.
  • Women aspiring leaders are more visible in community development activities and actively and confidently participating in political leadership and decision making processes.
  • Improved management of political campaigns.
  • Improved management of the COVID19 pandemic in their respective communities.

iv)WALPE launched the #LetsGo5050 gender equality campaign in 3 districts.

WALPE has embarked on a new project titled #LetsGo5050 gender equality campaign to be implemented in Mabvuku- Harare, Gwanda- Matebeleland South and Masvingo rural- Masvingo The five (5) year project is being supported by Diakonia. The project seeks to create a just society where women excel in all facets of development through free, active, effective and full participation of women in leadership, governance, and decision-making processes at both local and national levels. 

The project was launched on National FM radio on 01 July 2021 through a discussion on why it is important for women, women with disabilities and young women to fully participate in leadership and decision making positions.

Some of the activities to be implemented under this project include the following:

Capacity building training programme of 720 aspiring women leaders in Transformative Feminist Leadership Development.

Capacity building training programme of 720 aspiring women leaders in Social Entrepreneurship, Value Addition, Branding and Access to Markets.

Provision of small income generating projects to 400 aspiring women leaders to boost their economic function so that they run effective political campaigns.

Voter mobilization of first time female voters under the WALPE’s 2.2 Million votes for women from women election campaign.

Intergenerational Grooming, Coaching and Mentorship sessions for aspiring women leaders.

Advocacy and lobby sessions with Parliament, ZEC, political parties, men and boys, traditional and religious leaders for electoral reforms, gender equality and peaceful elections.

Male engagement for gender equality.

Research on “Impact of gender attitudes on women’s political leadership: The case of Zimbabwe.

Annual women leadership learning and exchange programs.

Women only Elections Gigs for Equality.

Through these interventions and many more, WALPE envisions an increase in the number and quality of women who make it to leadership positions at the community and national level.

N.B Kindly find attached advert for the WALPE’s 3rd cohort of the summer school…              
#LetsGo5050             #LetsGo5050                               #LetsGo5050