Women’s issues in Zimbabwe and AIDS preventions By Catherine Perez

Starting with the article on gender issues in Zimbabwe, it is definitely depressing to read about. They start with a court decision that is totally sexist and has, I believe, no ground at all. But being in a different society, where women have little rights, it doesn’t matter what I think about it, since it’s about what they think. And men seem to be the only persons with power to enforce their beliefs. So even if a woman was legally given the right to inheritance by her father, some other male can just claim it for themselves, and win. Just because they are male and the inheritor female. No other reason. But in Zimbabwe, I guess it makes perfect sense, since women can’t inherit. But for her half-brother to be an ass and kick her out….to me that isn’t a legal issue of a man should inherit a property. It’s almost stealing. Her brother wanted the property from her, not for the legal reason that women aren’t allowed to inherit, but probably because he wanted the property for himself. Selfish of him, and it’s his sister? But I guess in Zimbabwe, even siblings don’t get respect based on gender. But what about the father’s will? He’s male, and designated the property to his daughter. So why does his decision not matter at all?

And also, women served in the Zimbabwe military (of different groups), so they risked their lives and wellbeing just like men. But even with the right to work in the armies, they were seen as a way to persuade men to join since men wouldn’t want women to one up them. And women weren’t given any more right really. And after the fighting and development of a new state, they struggled for years with policy to give women rights, but I don’t think much change happened, and at least not enough was being done

The quote below I found contradictory. So they say this yet still don’t protect or respect women more?

“We must honour women because they are our mothers. If we don’t hold women well, we will never win the war.”

It’s a shame. I kinda hope this oppression of women has become less now, but I can’t say I have that much faith in people to change. And this article did focus less on the AIDS/HIV aspect we usually talk about it class, but it’s this basis of attitude toward women that helps spread and create such a huge problem of AIDS in women in Africa.

As for the prevention reading, I’m glad they have programs that are directed towards high-risk groups like truck drivers and sex-workers. AIDS/HIV in these groups is a major problem, and mostly combated by using condoms or not having these sexual relations at all. The idea of presenters acting out a play to promote safe practices and to inform about STDs and symptoms is interesting. But it gets people to pay attention in a way that isn’t aggressive in their face. Either way, promoting safe-sex practices is probably one of the best ways to prevent HIV/AIDS, since using condoms or not having sex with high-risk groups (or having any risky sex in general) prevents the main way of contracting HIV.

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