Here was the dilemma, should women use existing networks to further their agenda or should they just create new ones?
Now let me explain, there are already avenues in place to address women concerns for decades. However, Tendai Garwe notes that in Zimbabwe, while this is true, there have been women who have clamoured into these positions of power for decades and have not given room for new ideas, new faces and new leadership. This is also shared by Juliet Kushaba who says that her bid to work for women is stifled by, interestingly; fellow women.
Evidently, creating new networks then looks like a feasible idea.
While this may be a great solution to resistance of new leadership, it may actually be self defeating. In that, there will be several organizations that are doing the same thing, probably addressing the same people (who may be fewer). Instead Theo Sowah, the head at Africa Women Development Fund calls for collaboration. In this case both the new and the old realises that they are complementary and the sure way is to match the resources and work for a larger group. Here, Theo notes that finances while important are not vital.
“Use the skills and abilities of each individual to push for the agenda. We must listen to others and also have your voice heard too. Intergenerational dialogue will address women concerns from all age brackets. We need to tell the story of Africa rising. Collaboration will see that this will happen,” Theo Sowah shares in her sotto and authoritative voice.
Dilemma is solved…no?
This work was developed during the African Women’s Development Fund and Femrite African Women Creative Non-Fiction Writing Workshop in Uganda, July 2014.