Telling Stories

The ZimGirl Narratives Project

In recent decades, the economic and political climate of Zimbabwe has been characterized by political unrest, increased poverty, and hardened corruption. As a result, social harms have increased immensely with sexual gender-based violence prevailing in all forms (child marriage, gendered corruption); heightened food insecurity; increased violence in mining areas; lack of access to education due to limited state resources; and tuition fees above the Poverty Datum Line. These issues are incited by low documentation and lack of coverage in mass and digital media. The current status quo of media representation has gone unchallenged and, as a result, the state further disadvantages these areas in service delivery. Donors also continue to hold inaccurate narratives of the lived experiences of injustices in rural and remote Zimbabwe. To change this, Feminist Voices Zimbabwe carried out the ZimGirlNarratives project to capacitate 10 versatile, rural female creatives to carry out storytelling in their respective forms for the publication of art through international publishing houses and across digital media. They were trained in creative writing, visual art (drawing, painting), and how to leverage their experiences to develop and write stories using their creative talents. The cohort was divided into three themes; namely Period Poverty, Food Insecurity, and Girls’ Education. The facilitators of the training and storytelling sessions were published authors and journalists such as Tinatswe Mhaka and other visual artists, seasoned in working on team projects for the purpose of digital showcasing. The impact of the project was that young creatives have been provided with continuous support to unlock their full potential and skills for future employability. The project also realized increased mainstreaming of gender inequality and created a baseline for donors looking to target certain social harms.

Hearing Women: COVID- 19

In 2020, Feminist Voices Zimbabwe documented the experiences of women during COVID-19. The women included victims of domestic violence, informal traders who had been subjected to violence and abuse from army forces while trying to conduct their work as well as women who were working in healthcare. These interviews were conducted either in The Avenues in Harare, their homes, or wholesale markets where they purchase goods for sale.

Hearing Women: 16 Days of Activism

During 16 days of Activism, Feminist Voices Zimbabwe ran a social media campaign that brought together African feminists to talk about what freedom and emancipation look like in their countries. This campaign was an effort to strengthen feminist solidarity among those who share the vision of a world free from violence and patriarchy.