Women of Zimbabwe Arise

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Logo of WOZA

Women of Zimbabwe Arise or WOZA is a civic movement in Zimbabwe which was formed in 2003 by Jenni Williams to:

  • Provide women, from all walks of life, with a united voice to speak out on issues affecting their day-to-day lives.
  • Empower female leadership that will lead community involvement in pressing for solutions to the current crisis.
  • Encourage women to stand up for their rights and freedoms.

Lobby and advocate on those issues affecting women and their families. WOZA is supported by Amnesty International.

Etymology[edit]

WOZA, the acronym of Women of Zimbabwe Arise, is a Ndebele word meaning ‘Come forward’.

Awards[edit]

In 2008, WOZA was awarded the Amnesty International Menschenrechtspreis (human rights award) of 2008 by the German chapter of Amnesty International.

On November 23, 2009, prominent WOZA member Magodonga Mahlangu[1] and founder Jenni Williams received the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award. The award was presented by US president Barack Obama with the words: "By her example, Magodonga has shown the women of WOZA and the people of Zimbabwe that they can undermine their oppressors' power with their own power -- that they can sap a dictator's strength with their own. Her courage has inspired others to summon theirs."[2] In her remarks accepting the award, Magodonga Mahlangu quoted Robert F. Kennedy, saying, "The future is not a gift: it is an achievement. Every generation helps make its own future."[3] In 2012, WOZA's Jenni Williams was the recipient of the Ginetta Sagan Award from Amnesty International USA.

Continued police crackdown[edit]

Jenni Williams, Magodonga Mahlangu and other members of WOZA were arrested multiple times in the years from 2008 to 2011.[4] On 12 February 2011, over a thousand men and women joined a WOZA Valentine's Day protest. In the weeks that followed, several WOZA members were arrested and reportedly tortured in Bulawayo.[4] WOZA states that police officers have contacted WOZA's lawyer to demand that Williams and Mahlangu report to the police station for unstated reasons.;[5] the two women are currently in hiding.[5]

Amnesty International has expressed concern for the safety of group members and named WOZA a 2011 "priority case."[4]

MOZA[edit]

In August 2006, at the WOZA National Assembly, it was resolved to form Men of Zimbabwe Arise (MOZA). Men, mostly youthful, have been ‘coming forward’ to join this non-violent struggle for a better Zimbabwe.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Zimbabwean women win Obama award". BBC News. 24 November 2009. 
  2. ^ [1] RFK Center
  3. ^ [2] RFK Center
  4. ^ a b c "WOMEN OF ZIMBABWE ARISE (WOZA)". Amnesty International. Retrieved 19 April 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Stop Stalking Women of Zimbabwe Arise!". Amnesty International. Retrieved 19 April 2011. 
  6. ^ [3] WOZA webpage

External links[edit]