The Lives of Women in Zimbabwe

1001 Words5 Pages
The Lives of Women in Zimbabwe My great hope for African women, South African author Adeola James writes, "is that one day they will come into their own. That is why I chose to write." As African women struggle to claim their rightful place in African society and in the world, women writers, visual artists, and musicians chart the course of this struggle in a rich variety of artistic works. Through prose, poetry, drama, sculpture, painting, music, and many other forms, African women speak their thoughts and share their perceptions about their lives and their societies. "Our problem," Adeola James writes, in her introduction to In Their Own Voices (James 1990), "is that we have listened so rarely to women's voices, the noises of men having drowned us out in every sphere of life, including the arts. Yet women to o are artists, and are endowed with a special sensitivity and compassion, necessary to creativity" (p. 2). In many revolutionary struggles throughout the world, women were important characters in the fight for political freedom. In Zimbabwe, as well as in Nicaragua, women played major parts in helping these countries fight the dictatorship that controlled their countries. In the readings, lectures and film regarding this topic, many themes are raised. These include the reasons for women supporting the revolutionary struggle, the specific roles of women who did participate in the effort, and finally, the result for women when revolution succeeded; were women better off due to the revolution? These questions and issues will be addressed by looking at women in Zimbabwe during the fight for political freedom. Women in Zimbabwe were strong supporters of the revolutionary movement and fighters. In Zimbabwe, colonial rule had been imposed on the natives, and Europeans were benefiting by exploiting those who lived in Africa. Many African men had to move to cities to work for wages, which left many women with the burden of the agricultural work. As the white settlers superior position in society became even more dominant, women began to realize that both the people and the colonial system were significantly oppressing them. They could see that the European settlers to benefit not themselves, but the white man were using their positions as main agricultural workers. Sita Ranchod-Nilsson describes the reason why women supported the guerillas; Because African women were primarily responsible for agriculture and household subsistence in the countryside, they could identify with guerrilla claims that they were fighting for lost lands and an end to economic hardship(p.
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