Sabhuku Chidziva: One of few female village heads
One of the very few female village heads in Zimbabwe, Daisy Chidziva of Chidziva Village under Chief Zihute in Murehwa, has spoken out against cultural practises that promote gender based violence.
In an interview with The Zimbabwean on the side-lines of a workshop organized by Rozaria Memorial Trust on the implications of HIV on domestic violence, Sabhuku Chidziva said some traditional cultural practices encourage gender based violence.
“We have had various traditions that have encouraged gender based violence instead of building us as a community. This includes the dominance of men over women. In this way men end up procrastinating which then hurts their partners emotionally and physically by contracting HIV, that’s when we have cases of a wife pouring hot water on their husband,” she said.
The village head, who was crowned after all adult males in her family had died, said communication was vital and our tradition blocks that as it only gave the voice to males.
“Our tradition gives much more power and voice to males over female. This blocks the two-way communication set up which we have just learnt is so vital. If a woman is forbidden to speak then she will suffer in silence to the point that women cannot even speak to their husbands about sex. So in the end they look for it outside the marriage, risking contraction of HIV,” said Chidziva.
She urged traditional leaders to appoint female village heads not only in the event of death but according to performance.
“I am happy to be one of the few female village heads but it I would be much happier if our traditional leaders made it possible for women to be appointed into this position not only in the event of death but according to merit,” she said.
The event was graced by different village heads, members of the communities surround Chitate primary and various stakeholders including delegates from the Ministry of Women Affairs Gender and Community Development and the Murehwa District Health Counsellor Edwin Muchairi.
Popular poet Allen Chitsanzara performed two poems - Bhutsu kuRoots, which encourages people to remember where they came from, and Katswe, which was fused with a traditional play song.
Rozaria Memorial Trust is a registered NGO which has been operating in Murehwa for the past five years. It was formed to honour a heroine and local leader - the late Ambuya Rozaria Chijaka.
It supports innovative initiatives that support prevention, treatment and advocacy in the area of HIV and AIDS and GBV in marginalized communities.
source: The Zimbabwean, December, 18, 2012