Zimbabwe Women’s Resource Centre (ZWRCN) in partnership with Women Film Makers of Zimbabwe (WFOZ) held yet another exciting film dialogue session on the 30th of June 2016 in the (ZWRCN) Board Room. The two organisations decided to embark on this series as an entry point and platform to have conversations on contemporary gender issues with diverse audiences. This session attracted a number of women from different civil society organisations who were very passionate about issues that affect women in Zimbabwe.
The short film titled “the Christening” that has a theme on rape was screened. The film portrays city life and how the girl child is exposed to certain dangers of life. It brings out the negative effects of bad friendships and also the effects of poor public service delivery on women particularly the girl child as a young woman. “Yemu” in the film was raped on her way from fetching water at night. After the watching the short film, participants had a very good discussion. The issue of poor public service delivery was raised by most of the participants as being a big challenge mostly to women as they are the ones who have to close the gap where the city council is failing. The challenge of not having running water in many suburbs in cities have caused many women to suffer as they have to find alternative sources of water and some of the women and girls end up being abused or raped as in the case of the young woman “Yemu” who was raped on her way from fetching water.
A consensus was reached among the participants that both women and men should also participate at such forums as the film dialogue sessions so that they become aware of the challenges that women face in their daily lives. Noting that child socialisation being is largely in the hands of women, one speaker reiterated that women have the power to flip the script and make things better by raising boys who are gender sensitive.
Religion was also mentioned as needing to be transformed so that pastors and other church leaders begin to address gender based violence consistently and proactively if they are approached by survivors who are part of their congregations. It has been noted that most churches have not adopted a gender sensitive way of addressing gender based violence as in most cases the woman ends up being told to forgive and persevere, especially in marriages, while they are abused at the expense of their happiness and freedom.