ROHR ZIMBABWE CELEBRATES INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY IN MANCHESTER
By Panyika Karimanzira 10th March, 2013
United by one passion, human rights, Zimbabweans of different political persuasions and from different parts of the United Kingdom converged at The Cathedral Gardens, central Manchester to celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day.
In a refreshing show of maturity, men and women who are members of MDC and ZAPU took part in the celebrations, organized by Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR) Zimbabwe on Saturday 9th March, 2013.
Despite the cold and damp, they waved placards with messages ranging from “We fight for gender equality” to “Leaders don’t change women like socks” and occasionally broke into song. Some of the placards read “We fight for gender equality”, “Treat women prisoners with dignity”, “Gender equality for Zimbabwean women” and “Women must be treated with respect”.
The placards attracted a lot of attention from members of the public, some of whom came to express their appreciation of the demonstrators’ efforts in driving the gender equality message home. Some locals also joined in and waved placards with the group.
Asked why men were taking part in an apparent women’s event, the Vice Chairperson of Manchester branch of ROHR Zimbabwe, who also happens to be the Chairperson of MDC’s Manchester branch had this to say “Gender equality issues are human rights issues and we are here to show our solidarity with women and to show the world that we are for the equality of women to men. Every human being has the same rights regardless of gender”.
Nokutula Ncube, the Secretary for Arts & Culture for Europe Province of ZAPU said she had travelled all the way from London to take part in this event. She said, “It is a once in a year event and I felt so strongly that the agenda is so important that I had to be part of it, representing the Zimbabwe African Women’s Union (ZAWU).” The same sentiments were echoed by someone who had travelled all the way from Newcastle, Susan Ndlovu, the ZAWU representative in ZAPU’s Europe provincial executive committee, who also happens to be a member of ROHR UK coordinating committee for the North East of England branch (formerly Newcastle branch).
The organizing team for the event comprised Delina Mutyambizi (Chairperson – ROHR Manchester branch and Deputy Organizing Secretary ROHR – UK Chapter), Lorraine Mudjgiwa (Chairperson of ROHR – Bradford branch and ROHR –UK Chapter regional coordinator for the North), Susan Ndlovu (member of ROHR UK coordinating committee for the North East of England branch (formerly Newcastle branch), Phylis Chibanguza (ROHR –UK Chapter regional coordinator for the Midlands), Blessings Maynard (Chairperson – ROHR Crawley), Paradzai Mapfumo (National coordinator – ROHR UK Chapter and Panyika Karimanzira (Secretary for Information & Publicity – ROHR UK Chapter).
Other participants in the event were Tichaona Chikandamina (Treasurer – ROHR Manchester Branch), Justice Sibanda (Organizing Secretary – ROHR Bradford branch), Melusi Sibanda (Information & Publicity Secretary – ROHR Bradford branch, Sibonokuhle Ndlovu – ROHR Manchester branch activist and Panyika Karimanzira (Secretary for Information & Publicity – ROHR UK Chapter).
The event started at 2:00pm and ended at 4:30pm.
For pictures covering the even t click here.