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April 21, 2012 / Man in the Mirror

Grace Chirenje’s passion to fight women’s oppression

Grace Chirenje (29), a passionate feminist has vowed to fight for women’s rights so that women do not continue to be viewed as second class citizens.

“I want a Zimbabwe where I’m free to say what I want,” she told The Zimbabwean recently. “I want a Zimbabwe that guarantees safety before and after expressing yourself, where we share resources equitably.”

“I want a country where I can decide what I want to do with my life and do it with all the passion, energy and strength that I possibly can harness,” she added.

During her university days, Chirenje realised that fighting women’s oppression “was a career for some people. I quickly realised that it was a lived reality and a calling.”

“I will not get tired to push this agenda for as long oppression of women exists, and for as long as women are treated as second class citizens in the country of their birth,” she declared.

Chirenje is a former Midlands State University graduate and holder of a Master of Arts degree in Leadership. Her passion for success has seen her leading the Zimbabwe Young Women Network for Peace Building Project, an organisation that focuses on issues of women’s participation in politics, democracy, literacy and skills training and concentrates mainly on rural communities in Zimbabwe.

Her activism has opened several doors. Not only is she a former Vice Chairperson for the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe but had been part of the prestigious International Visitors Leadership Programme sponsored by the US State Department in Zimbabwe.

In addition, last year she had an opportunity to meet American First Lady, Michelle Obama, at the Young African Women’s Leaders Forum in South Africa.

She is also one of the few African young women to attend the UN Commission on the Status of Women, held in New York City in February this year.

Chirenje is married to Brian Nachipo and they have two children. Her ability to balance family life and work is proof of how much women can achieve in society when they are determined.

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