Women's Role In Struggle

Women’s role in struggle (ca. 1978)

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This is a digitised version of an article from The Zimbabwe Review Vol. 7. The original article was written by Jester Nkomo and published on January 7, 1978, Page 10.

Women's Role In Struggle

For the purposes of this article the term “women” embraces both young and old.

All along the tendency has been that the liberation war of our country could only be waged by men. This view has been proved to be very wrong. Any struggle without the participation of women cannot be complete and effective. This has been evidenced by the large number of young women coming forward to join the struggle, which was not the case in the past. This is an assurance that the birth of Zimbabwe is just around the corner. It is because women have now realised that they have a role to perform in the struggle, particularly in the following categories:

  1. to fight alongside their menfolk
  2. to provide food for our gallant fighters
  3. to donate money towards the Liberation Fund
  4. to donate clothing and various other items.

The morale of women both in and outside of Zimbabwe is very high. This is a good sign and is very favourable to the success of a proletarian revolution.

I would like to tell my fellow women about a martyr in the liberation of (a now independent and prosperous) Bulgaria. She was very dedicated to the liberation of her country and her name was Mother Tanga. She contributed a lot to the liberation of her country. This revolutionary was a mother of two young sons who were killed in the armed struggle of Bulgaria.


 She demonstrated her courage and determination by using her house as storage for arms for freedom fighters. When the commander of their armed forces was killed she asked for his head to be given to her. She preserved the skull until the freedom of Bulgaria was won. She then produced and contributed it for exhibition at the Mather Tangha Museum, named in honour of her contribution to the liberation struggle.

Another woman also preserved the hair of her daughter killed during the struggle and donated it to the Museum.

All of these examples of how much women are prepared to sacrifice for the freedom of their country. It also shows how much women value the struggle to free their homeland even if it means losing their lives and those of their children in return for freedom.

It gives me great pride to say that the women of Zimbabwe have also portrayed this same dash of character. They have allowed and even encouraged their children, including girls, to join the struggle even if it might mean death.

I would like to appeal to every Zimbabwean woman wherever she might be, old or young, to rise and fight side by side with our men. Our role in our society cannot be filled by men but buy ourselves. Women, let us mobilise ourselves – let us brace ourselves for difficult times ahead, and let us fight the enemy collectively and effectively. United as we are and must always be, we shall bring about the quick downfall of the racist clique of Ian Smith. Let us pledge to play an especially weighty role in consolidating the liberation of our motherland.

Finally, I appeal to my fellow women who are readers of THE ZIMBABWE PEOPLE’S VOICE. Let us not dream about it but act. Let us unite and show our worthiness. But to do so, our paper will need you and me.

By Jester Nkomo: Matero Branch

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