IWD: Zimbabwe’s Inspirational Women

It is that time of the year again when the world honours women with a special date. For those who live under that special rock under the shadow of another very special rock in a particularly special vacuum, that spot right after the black hole gulps all information, the 8th of March is International Women’s Day, every year.

We thought to honour specific women who we think have been particularly influential in different sections of Zimbabwe’s society. These women have led the way in showing that a Zimbabwean can be great. To reduce them to being just women and not recognise that their successes have been human successes more than they are simply those of the fairer sex would be a great disservice to them.

First on our list is the most powerful woman in Zimbabwe, listed by Forbes as one of the most influential on the continent, Vice President Joice Mujuru. She is a skilled politician who has risen  through the ranks. From being the youngest cabinet minister at independence to where she is now, there has to be dedication and being able to recognise the right people to help you along the way. She has also been admirable in the way she has remained strong following the death of her husband General Solomon Mujuru last year.

Next, we salute, another politician, Deputy Prime Minster Thokozani Khupe. Skilled in her profession as well, she has been an advocate of issues to do with children. We recognise how she has led breast cancer awareness by letting the public in on her battle with the disease. She recently received the African Achievers award for her passion in developing her community for her work in democracy and women empowerment.

Ms Divine Ndhlukula is an entrepreneur extraordinaire. Her company Securico won the 2011 Africa Awards for Entrepeneurship. It is the only Zimbabwean manpower-based company to receive ISO certification, also winning the inaugural National Quality Award last year. She is truly a trailblazer.

Betty Makoni, the founder of the Girl Child Network is a fearless gender activist. Through her organisation, which cares for Zimbabwe’s young sex abuse victims, she has helped rescue more than 35,000 girls. A holder of two University of Zimbabwe degrees she has won numerous awards.

Oprah Winfrey’s favourite guest Dr Tererai Trent makes the list. Prevented from going to school as child because she was a girl she has scaled the heights of the academic world. Married off at the age of 11, she had three children by the time she was 18. She moved to the US in 1998 with her husband and five children.  She survived an abusive husband – who was later deported – t o earn her PhD with the West Michigan University, her thesis looked at HIV/AIDS prevention programs for women and girls in sub-Saharan Africa.

These are but a small sample of some of the women making a change in Zimbabwe. We salute them and the army of women of Zimbabwe on this International Women’s Day.