A Women’s Workshop in Eswatini

This summer we had a women’s workshop in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), led by Diane Balser, the International Liberation Reference Person for Women. Women came from Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia, and Swaziland. What a wonderful, well-planned workshop. Diane took us through sexism, internalised oppression, and the beautification industry, with precision.

We were asked to appreciate our bodies. (It’s amazing how we don’t want to say the word vagina in public or even to ourselves.) We have been oppressed based on our biology to the extent that we always do things to satisfy men.

The beautification industry takes advantage of us and makes money out of it. Women now have artificial hair, artificial nails, artificial eyelashes, artificial breasts and hips, to name a few. Women—especially African women—bleach their skin. And all this is to please men. The workshop was an eye opener for most of us. We realized we do not have to do all this to ourselves to please anyone. Natural is laker (good).

Change is possible. It starts with you and me. Let’s work together to change the mindset of all women, for a better tomorrow.

Petronella Muza

Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list for leaders of women

(Present Time 193, October 2018)

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00