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By Rutendo Mapfumo
Women Coalition of Zimbabwe Hwange Chapter hosted a belated international rural Day at Lukhosi Change ward where hundreds of rural women showcased their products and shared their success rural stories.
The event which started with solidarity messages followed by the touring of stands attracted a number of rural women.
The elderly stands exhibitors showcased cultural food, herbs and medicines found in the Nambya culture.
Addressing the rural women, Lorraine Mubayira the WCOZ Young Women Forum, said it was their organisational role to empower rural women in marginalised communities in Zimbabwe.
“In Zimbabwe, there are a number of rural and indigenous communities that are incessantly facing the scourge of exclusion, invisibility from the national development discourse and women’s rights interventions. It is therefore critical to develop and implement strategies to remind the nation at large of its obligation towards “Promoting women-centered sustainable food systems and rural development,” said Mubayira.
This year, the International Day of Rural Women theme is “Rural Women Cultivating Good Food For All”, which highlights the essential role that rural women and girls play in the food systems of the world.
Mubayira said most rural women and indigenous communities in Zimbabwe and the world over, remain marginalised and are regarded as peripheral to the world that counts, yet they make invaluable contributions towards household and community food systems and rural development.
Gogo Lilian Shoko (68) from Change Village echoed similar sentiments saying, rural women contribute to rural development even though they are not appreciated.
“We are the custodians of the rural community, but those who are not from the rural communities despise us,” she said.
She added that rural women are the preservers of the African culture -Ubuntu and they are the ones who can pass the African Ubuntu to the next generations.
“We know our values as Africans, Nambya culture to be specific, we are the best people to pass our knowledge to the next generation,” said Gogo Shoko who was exhibiting the Nambya cultural medicines.
“We can teach our children how to work and provide food for the family using the land and our natural resources.”
The International Day of Rural Women was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007 and is observed on October 15 every year. The day recognizes the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.