“A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.”
The 8th of March every year is celebrated as International Women’s Day. The Constitution of Zimbabwe (2013) clearly outlines that citizens in all their diversity, regardless of gender, are entitled to their rights and freedoms. GALZ, an association of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons in Zimbabwe, is a membership-based organisation at the forefront of championing gender diversity, inclusion, equality and advancement. GALZ commemorates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women of in their diversity by recognition of their existence, acknowledgement of their rights, upholding of their freedoms and amplifying visibility of their issues.
Deprived of family support, social recognition, education, and employment opportunities, many lesbian, bisexual, queer and trans individuals often end up socially marginalised, facing an intersection of challenges of stigma and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. These include economic hardship from unemployment, laws that forbid same-sex sexual conduct, criminalization in the case of sex work, HIV interventions which exclude women on the basis of perceived low transmission rates, enforced marriages and rape on the basis of sexuality, ‘conversion’ therapies and the highest risk of gender-based violence.
“GALZ continues to work to ensure that lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women are protected from violence, discrimination, and stigma.”
– Chester Samba, GALZ Director
GALZ acknowledges the women’s movement in Zimbabwe but is however disheartened that there is still much lag in the spheres of education, health, the law and civic participation to fight anti-women bias. There is still clear delineation in what issues are considered important in gender equality, and blatant exclusion of women who do not fit the binary and often heteronormative perception of what a woman should be. Women are powerful, and they are so much more than their sexuality.
We encourage all women in our membership to register to vote, to ensure their gender does not impede their voice as active and equal citizens of Zimbabwe.
#BreakTheBias #OurVoteOurVoice #MunhuMunhu #umuntungumuntu