Increasing visibilityof women creatives
March 4, 2021
March is Women’s month and it goes without saying that our patriarchal society is still relentless on stifling the emancipation of women by propagating negative gender assumptions. With this year’s theme dubbed #choose to challenge, there is an emmediate need to call out and raise awareness against gender bias, take action for equality and create inclusive workplaces so that women and girls can thrive. We have been in Masvingo and had the opportunity to meet and have deliberations with female sculptors who plie their wares along the Great Zimbabwe high way. Much as this is a very much male dominated fraternity, quiet a significant number of women have made their way into this venture. Owing to the delapidated socio economic structures of the country which has prompted more women and girls to irk alternative ways of livelihood, there is a steady increase of women and girls setting out in sculpturing, a physically taxing job which society has assigned as a male preserve. They however face challenges when having their periods as there are no proper sanitation facilities in the proximity.There also have stiff competition from their male counterparts who because of entitlement believe they have rights over the soap stone that is the raw material used to make this life like sculptures and end up fighting them and sometimes chase them away from the sights.Some of these women are the sole bread winners and this is their only source of livelihood. There is need for the government and relevant stakeholders to aid these women by training them to be fully fledged business people and aquire skills to market even internationally.