Chikowore leaves Zimta PDF Print E-mail

OUTGOING Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association president Mrs Tendai Chikowore has urged women in her organisation to remain strong and fight for leadership posts as well as equal representation. Mrs Chikowore, the first woman to lead Zimta, steps down today


Created : 29 April 2013


Adapted from the Herald of 24 April 2013


Addressing Zimta women members from the country’s 10 provinces and members of teachers’ unions from different African countries, during a caucus meeting on Monday evening in Victoria Falls, Mrs Chikowore urged women not to be cry babies, but to remain focused and fight for leadership posts in the association.
The caucus meeting was held before the official opening of the three-day Zimta 32nd national annual conference in the resort town yesterday.

“I do not want to be the first and last female Zimta president. I want to see more female presidents after me. We are in the process of a paradigm shift, where there should be equal representation in the leadership structures of the association. Women should not be cry babies who yell for attention all the time, but strong cadres of the association who qualify to represent the association and effect change for the benefit of all teachers,” said Mrs Chikowore.

“While I appreciate what women have done so far for the association, there is still a lot more to be done because men are also vying for the leadership posts and are prepared to close space and make sure that women only hold lower posts. Equal representation is a process, not an event. I therefore want every woman to be part of the process as we try to promote gender equality in the association’s structures.”

She urged women not to pretend as if they knew everything, but to seek advice and work closely with other members to achieve the association’s goals.
“Do not pretend to know everything, but consult and prioritise teamwork in everything that you do. In Southern Africa, we have powerful women who have come up and proved to be good leaders. I wish Zimta women could do the same by supporting one another,” said Mrs Chikowore.

She thanked the women for the support they gave her during her term of office and reiterated the need for close co-operation.
The South Africa Democratic Teachers’ Union national treasurer, Ms Lindiwe Motshwane, said it was the duty of women to guard against divisions within the association.
“Divisions within the association’s structures are usually created by women and can only be prevented by women. Women have a natural gift of being mothers and unifiers in their homes, and this duty should cascade to the association. Let us create a conducive environment for growth and equal representation in Zimta without creating divisions or pulling each other down.

“Let us rally behind the fight for gender equality in our associations and make men part of this fight. They are part of us in this struggle and we should draw them into our discussions so that they know that we are not fighting them so that they support us in our fight,” she said.

Ms Bongiwe Mango from Swaziland National Association of Teachers said women should be tough for them to succeed in the world of unionism.
“Our association is currently being led by a female president and we achieved this after a very long time. When women come into the world of unionism, they should be tough. Stand up, be strong and prove beyond doubt that you can be a successful leader.





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