Women filmmakers on GBV screenings

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Although GBV remains a serious challenge in the country, it is underfunded and most communities lack access to basic violence response services

WOMEN Filmmakers of Zimbabwe (WFOZ) is set to hold screenings and discussions in Binga focusing on eradicating gender-based violence (GBV) as part of the women’s month celebrations.

BY WINSTONE ANTONIO

The screenings, themed Binga Community Outreach 2020, will begin on March 17 at Donga Business Centre before heading to Mankobole Church of Christ at Twalyokezya Business Centre the following day while Bunsiwa Church of Christ and Manjolo Assemblies of God Church will host the events on March 19 and 20 respectively.

The Institute of Creative Arts for Progress in Africa (ICAPA) trust administrator Florence Makore said WFOZ’s outreach in Binga was meant to bring women-centred films focusing on socio-economic and cultural issues relevant to women and girls to the Zambezi Valley.

“The 2020 outreach focuses on eradicating violence against women and girls. The global objective of the outreach is to empower women and increase their agency in the matters addressed by the films through engaging with the narratives in focused group discussions after the screenings,” she said.

“The outreach activity is a women’s empowerment project supported by CAFOD that exhibits films that portray women in at least one major role, thus providing role models for African women. Women are able to observe other women in film being active, displaying agency and impacting positively on their own lives and communities.”

The trust, which also incorporates WFOZ and Nyerai Films, said the films allowed for engagement with women’s problems and encouraged tolerance and understanding between the sexes.

“By using film as a tool for visual activism, WFOZ raises public awareness and promotes participation of local communities and mobilises them to create safe places. This outreach provides a safe and neutral platform for discussion centring on girls’ rights violation and other subject matter arising from the film screenings,” she said.

“This year’s outreach project addresses specific womens’ rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

Makore said WFOZ had increased the participation and production capacity of women in film by bringing women’s and other topical issues to the attention of the film-viewing public.

It has also produced and co-produced international standard film narratives including Kare Kare Zvako (2005), Peretera Maneta (2006), Sharing Day (2008), I Want a Wedding Dress (2009), Picture My Life Stories and 16 Days of Activism skits.

WFOZ founded International Images Film Festival (IIFF) in Harare in 2002 and since then the festival has grown into a regional platform with mini-festivals in Malawi, Uganda, Somalia, Kenya and South Africa.

“During the Chipinge outreach in 2015, sexual violations were exposed after the screening of Penetera Maneta. The same film also exposed cases of child sexual abuse during an outreach held in Epworth in 2016 and Domboshava in 2019. The 2016 case was referred to Musasa Project and Childline and a child was removed from an abusive environment,” Makore said.