On 12 October 2016, we had the opportunity to launch our theme for 2017 rising. Zimbabwe has been going through difficult times politically and economically. The brunt of these challenges has greatly affected women more than anything else. In wake of this, the launch was premised on building conversation on how women can strengthen their solidarity in this kind of environment. The launch was graced by key activists from the women’s movement and was meant to facilitate a dialogue on historical narratives on solidarity in the women’s movement in Zimbabwe. The presentation was facilitated by a renowned women’s rights activist in Zimbabwe called Rudo Mashamba.
Figure 1 OBR Zimbabwe Global Coordinator introducing the theme launch from the official OBR Website to the launch guests.
Solidarity for the Women of Zimbabwe
In her presentation, Rudo gave an outline of the historical timeline of how women in Zimbabwe started organising themselves to create learning spaces from precolonial times in the 1920s. She then gave a progression of how women began to develop their capacity to question the ills that were brought in by discrimination of women based on their sex and social experiences as the movement progressed in the post-colonial times. More so, Rudo’s presentation highlighted the importance of women building radical organised solidarity as a way of developing safety nets for women to continue to voice their concerns in as far as exploitation is concerned.
Figure 2 Precious, one of the guests showcasing some of the solidarity messages being collected to mobilise women to rise in solidarity
Figure 3 Solidarity messages on display for the launch
The Activist Discussion
Following her presentation, a group of activists who attended the event felt motivated to create structures that are facilitative for building solidarity within the movement. The group made deliberations on how women can continue to organise themselves despite the challenges which they are facing in organising for their work because of the new legal regulations which are making it difficult for them to group themselves. Due to the challenges, the following resolutions were made going forward.
Figure 4part of the group which attended the launch.
Figure 5 Using film to explain the foundations of the rising for the launch
The Revolutionary Resolutions for Solidarity