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Overview of the SiMuka! Campaign
The Women's Trust
May 02, 2013

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Who is the Women's Trust?

Let me start by saying that TWT is a not for profit organisation working for the empowerment of women (both young and old) in leadership and decision making to enable them to fully participate in national development processes.

Our vision is a world in which men and women participate equally in decision-making. Our mission is to expand opportunities and capacities of women and organizations to engage in transformational leadership for equality.

Our mandate is to contribute to a better society for women where there is justice, mutual respect, valuing of every individual no matter their status, political, religious or sexuality. We focus on elevating the status of the woman. We do not apologize that we are a feminist organisation. We use a rights based framework and a feminist framework of analysis to empower women, demand and protect the rights of women. Our focus is on women but we do work with men to the extent that they are duty bearers and our stakeholders.

We work with a network of organizations that we work with which includes community based organizations, local authorities, parliamentary women's caucus and women's wings of political parties - we understand there are currently 25 registered political parties but our work is within the confines of the three parties to the Global Political Agreement. On the ground our work is made possible by community facilitators and young women leaders in the 7 provinces that we are active in. We also work with our alumni of our leadership programmes as well as tertiary institutions.

The campaign

In 2007 - 2008 TWT ran the Women Can Do It! Campaign which raised the visibility of women during the elections. The WCDI campaign contributed to increased public acceptance of women as leaders and saw a 50% increase in the number of women that contested Parliamentary seats in 2008 compared to 2005 this resulted in a 53% candidacy of women in the Parliamentary and Council Elections.

The WCDI! Campaign was based on a global campaign by the same name with its origins in the Norwegian labour party women's movement and the Norwegian Peoples Aid and has been used in over 25 countries worldwide. It is a global tool for advocacy in the form of a thinking framework that can be used for GBV, women's unpaid work or women in politics amongst others. TWT located this campaign within the Human Rights Based approach and translated it into a digestible message namely 'Give us a chance to lead 'The aim was to raise women's confidence in their own abilities and motivate them to participate, in large numbers in the electoral processes at all levels.

Our strategies included radio debates, a dedicated call line SMS and telephone responses, TOT, media orientation, jingles, TV programmes, leadership diary, billboards, Women's (Skills Power Attitude!) SPA corner, pamphlets among others.

The SiMuka! Zimbabwe Women Get Counted campaign is based on the momentum and women's mobilisation of this campaign and is building on these successes with a specific focus on encouraging women to get up and participate, to have their say and use their voice. SiMuka! Zimbabwe as read is a social visioning tool that informs our campaign. While the WCDI campaign focused on the woman to get into politics, SiMuka! is focusing on women amasses the woman the electorate.

According to the 2012 Zimbabwe Census We are 53 percent of the population, and with this majority voice women CAN influence the direction of critical policies important to us - like good service delivery in health, social amenities, schools, economic security and empowerment and personal security from all forms of violence. Also retirement security, job opportunity, good schools and housing costs are all of HIGHER importance to women.

The objectives of the campaign are three-fold:
1. To encourage women to register
2. To encourage women to vote and
3. To encourage women to vote for other women

Like before we will use different strategies to mobilize and engage women with our message. We need you the media to have a greater reach.

SiMuka! Is a simple message that cuts across the divide of women, we know women are not homogeneous so we are targeting everywoman old young, rural urban ALL the nuances for the sophisticated SiMuka means: Get up and wake up - Arise and shine. We are saying women stop complaining have your say be responsible get up and participate - Pinda pindawo, kuluma makazana. Pakama Zimbabwe, SiMuka! Zimbabwe.

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