ISBN 9781779222145
ePub ISBN 9781779222213
Pages 112
Dimensions 216 x 140 mm
Published 2013
Publisher Weaver Press, Zimbabwe
Formats Paperback, eBook

SheMurenga: The Zimbabwean Women's Movement 1995-2000

by Shereen Essof

This book demonstrates the place of women's movements during a defining period of contemporary Zimbabwe. The government of Robert Mugabe may have been as firmly in power in 2000 as it was in 1995, but the intervening years saw severe economic crisis, mass strikes and protests, the start of land occupations, intervention in the war in the DRC, and the rise of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. Shereen Essof shows how Zimbabwean women crafted responses to these and other events, and aimed for a feminist agenda that would prioritise the interests of the rural and urban poor. Rejecting both the strictures of patriarchy and the orthodoxies of established feminism, she demands that Zimbabwe's women be heard in their own voices and in their own contexts. In doing so she writes a book that combines scholarly integrity with a wild, joyous cry for liberation.

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"Shereen Essof has written a fascinating account of a significant period on the Women's Movement in Zimbabwe. In the 1980s there was a sense that the movement was a 10-point programme: legal rights, access to resources, equal pay for equal work, maternity leave … We thought that when we’d checked off that list, we’d be done. The story that emerges through this book shows that whatever we thought we’d ‘ticked’ to enable a society of choice has not been enough. As we move into the future, Essof has provided us with a history that should not be forgotten, and tools to re-ignite our feminist fire."

Hope Chigudu, Lead consultant, HopeAfrica

About the Author

Shereen Essof

Shereen Essof is a Zimbabwean feminist, activist, popular educator, and academic. Her academic work is grounded in her engagement with women in trade unions, social movements, and community-based organisations. She strives to understand the roots and the gendered nature of neo-liberal, patriarchal systems, and from that understanding to imagine and organise towards alternatives. She worked at the Zimbabwe Women’s Resource Centre and Network in Harare for six years, and then with the African Gender Institute at the University of Cape Town. At the same time, she has shared her time and capacities with other social justice organisations, not only to strategise, mobilise, and take action but also to create accessible information through oral histories, documentary, creative writing, and art. Shereen has published widely on feminism, women’s movements, and social movement organising in both online and hard copy journals in South Africa and internationally. Currently Shereen leads JASS Southern Africa’s programmes on women’s rights, empowerment, and movement-building in Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, and at the regional level. She is known and appreciated for her huge energy and infectious, warm laugh, and for living her feminist principles in everyday life in unpretentious ways.

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