Trapped in a ‘Pitiless Zone where the Different Patriarchies Meet’! A Glimpse into the BaTonga Rural Women’s Daily Struggles Versus Gender Equality, Binga, Zimbabwe

P. Chipo Mudimba


Freedom of any kind is very important to the full functioning of any human being in society. It allows people to make personal choices that they can be happy and proud about. But for the majority of women across the world, achieving such liberty has proved unrealistic due to a number of factors. For some, the political, economic, and social space of their everyday life is extremely stifled to accommodate the exercise of fundamental human freedoms. This paper investigated the diverse forms of barriers that hinder many baTonga rural women (Binga, Zimbabwe) from asserting their rights claims, importantly, the right to gender equality. The study is a descriptive research that was conducted through secondary data. Though substantial progress in tradition and socio-cultural practices has been achieved, the majority of the rural women are still trapped in intersecting and overlapping inequalities. While some of their sites of struggle are generic and common to all women globally, some are more specific due to their traditional and cultural beliefs. With a gross history of political and economic marginalisation in the region, access to quality education has rendered both sexes deficient of compatible skills and exposure to handle society’s contemporary challenges. Given the culturally facilitated gender imbalance in accessing formal education, rural women remain the most affected in so far as participation in politics, mainstream economy and other social platforms is concerned. Therefore, to address these and other forms of their exclusion, a holistic approach to their challenges is recommended and preferably, one that is gender responsive. A case in point would be a redress of the 1950s historical dislocation of the baTonga people to cater for the developmental needs of both the present and future generations of baTonga rural women. Thus, by building schools, clinics, and other essential public service facilities in rural areas the government should empower women to be able to respond to their needs.

Keywords; BaTonga, women, gender equality, marginalisation, socio-cultural practices, exclusion, Binga, Zimbabwe.

DOI: 10.7176/JLPG/101-10

Publication date:September 30th 2020

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