Story by Margaret Matibiri
THE first ever Zivo-Ulwazi Feminist Knowledge Hub was launched by Katswe Sistahood in Harare this Friday to offer digital technologies empowerment to girls and women from marginalised communities.
The centre also gives women a platform to tell and share their diverse stories with the rest of the world.
Katswe Sistahood director, Talent Jimu says the UN Spotlight Initiative-supported solar-powered hub will work as a learning centre, at the same time empowering women.
“The hub is a repository for feminist knowledge, a physical space where feminists can work as experts, writing, conducting research, documenting experiences and depositing academic works,” she said.
“As feminists, we work in many places with different stories to tell but in most cases, we do not systematically archive our work and the hub is here to serve as that repository that we have yearned so long for.
“We have computers and women who are tech-savvy will come to use these machines to advance their various empowerment agenda and those who are not tech-savvy will be trained to gain the skill and know-how of operating these computers.
“There are a lot of young women who are in the business of buying and selling and if there is one thing that Covid-19 taught us, it was that we need to be innovative and the use of technology will be very critical in advancing economic empowerment for women. They will utilise online platforms to advertise their products and reach out to a much wider community and broadens their catchment.”
Gender Mainstreaming and Coordination Specialist for UN Women, Tinashe Sande said the hub will make information accessible to women and girls.
“The Feminist Knowledge hubs are also expected to increase the space for dialogues for women’s rights groups, harness knowledge and make information accessible to women and girls,” she said.
“It will also benefit community champions, peri-urban women and girls, Women’s rights groups, female researchers and CSOs who are in a constant search for feminist knowledge on gender equality and women’s empowerment.”
Guest of Honour at the launch, the Chief Director in the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Mrs Lillian Matsika-Takaendesa commended Katswe Sistahood for the initiative, which is in line with the government’s vision.
She also called for development partners to find a way to combat cyberbullying.
“We encourage women to become tech-savvy and get online but sometimes that is the same space where they get bashed. We need to find ways to deal with that abuse,” she said.