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The rise of all-women events and meetups

For the Culture

The rise of all-women events and meetups

It’s funny how most women can’t come out to the places because the men in their lives forbid it.

all-women events

Source: Girl Grnadeur Zimbabwe

We are seeing a whole lot more of women-only gatherings and meetups all over the country and I stand amazed. I’m personally excited to go to an all-women festival and if they open an all-women gym, I might finally lose the weight! All-women events offer a unique and valuable space for women to connect, share experiences, and support each other in ways that can be difficult to achieve in mixed-gender settings.

Any time women come together with a collective intention, it’s a powerful thing. Whether it’s sitting down making a quilt, in a kitchen preparing a meal, in a club reading the same book, or around the table playing cards, or planning a birthday party, when women come together with a collective intention, magic happens.” – Phylicia Rashad

 

I laughed at this meme about how there are too many men in the club. And how they need more women to start coming out to the clubs. My first thought was, if you had created safer spaces in those areas, women would probably come out more. It’s hard to enjoy yourself when you are constantly looking over your shoulder and having to be hyper vigilant. It’s funny how most women can’t come out to these places because the men in their lives forbid it. So men are also very much aware of what other men are capable of doing. Men are also afraid of men.

Stokvels/Chimbadzos

I have always said that the trope about how women can’t work/live together was devised as a tactic to divide and conquer. Strong social connections are essential for mental and emotional health. Women can achieve so much when they come together and move as a unit. Think burial societies, stokvels/chimbadzos or even farming cooperatives. There’s something powerful and magical about women moving as one towards a certain goal.

Virtual prayer groups

It’s hard to meet new people and make friends in your adult years. Where would you find new people? For believers you can attend Prayer Picnics or Prayer Board events. There are many women’s online prayer WhatsApp groups popping up and women who pray can come together, share devotionals, go on prayer outings and seek the face of the Lord together. These all-women platforms can provide a sense of belonging and community, reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness. Examples include The Deborah’s, Proverbs 31 Babes and Arise Fearless Women.

Facebook communities

These days you can join women’s virtual groups on almost anything. My current top 3 Facebook women’s communities are Mereji Diaries, Dzidzo ku Mudzimai waNhasi and Bath and Glow. And the bonus runner up is Muviri wangu. Honourable mention goes to the #GirlTalkZW Facebook group. Most of these groups offer valuable insight and are very interactive. Despite a few bag eggs who troll and think everything is a joke, there’s still some people who offer valuable insights and information. The post anonymously feature gives you the opportunity to ask about anything without any fear of retribution. Sharing vulnerabilities and challenges in a safe space can lead to personal growth and a deeper understanding of oneself.

She Means Business Brunch

This article wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t discuss all-women spaces for entrepreneurs. An example of this is the She Means Business Brunch in Harare and Pusheka Girl or The Money Soirée in Bulawayo. It’s a conducive space for women in business to come together, network and share ideas. Collaboration and brainstorming in a supportive environment can spark new projects and initiatives. Being surrounded by other strong, successful women can boost confidence and self-esteem.

Creative women’s meetup

Girl Grandeur Zimbabwe had a creative women’s meetup and it showed that there is a void for more all-women platforms. This was a safe space for creative women to share their experiences in their respective crafts. Sharing experiences and challenges can be therapeutic and help women cope with stress and anxiety. The more of these gatherings we have, the better for women in the long run. Women can feel more comfortable expressing themselves openly and honestly without fear of judgement or interruption.

After all the Doek and Slay stories, it is important to note that all-women gatherings are not without their limitations. All gatherings have their own issues and their share of bad press. However, when done thoughtfully and inclusively, these all-women gatherings can be a powerful force for positive change and empowerment for women. I’m excited to see more and more of them popping up for different interests, hobbies and life aspects.

Which all-women platforms are you a part of and how do they serve you?

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It's your girl! Natively fluent in speaking hard facts. I'm from the City of Kings, born and bred njenge sinkwa! Well versed in women's issues ngazathi libhayibhili. Ang'so mngan' wakho!

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