It makes us so happy to announce that we have raised a further £24,058.50p for Womankind Worldwide, raising our total to £78,517.60p exactly! And we have you to thank for this contribution – for every pack of ‘For women’ purchased, we donate between 20p and £1 (depending on pack size).

Womankind Worldwide works globally in equal partnership and solidarity with women’s rights organisations and movements to transform the lives of women. If you follow us on Instagram and Twitter, you may have seen that last week we were invited to meet Sakhile Sifelani-Ngoma, director of Women in Politics Support Unit (WiPSU) at the Womankind Worldwide offices.

Sakhile and Soraya
Soraya meeting Sakhile from WiPSU at the Womankind Worldwide offices

WiPSU works to increase the number of women participating in politics and local government in Zimbabwe. In 2013 a new constitution was approved by referendum, bringing into law a new electoral quota system to increase women’s participation in parliament to at least 30%. This was the celebrated result of a decade long struggle, fought by women’s activists, including Sakhile.

But, as she explained, the women who make it into politics still face an uphill battle – often holding less power than their male counterparts and experiencing discrimination and abuse in parliament. Following the widespread violence against women during the previous election in Zimbabwe, Womankind Worldwide will be working closely with WiPSU to promote and safeguard women’s active participation in the political process.

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WiPSU's work extends beyond parliament and Sakhile also told us the story of Kessina Moyo, who lives in the village of Mathupula, The livelihoods of the people who live in the village rely on animal husbandry and subsistence farming. Whilst women are responsible for the day to day care of livestock, they held no influence over their veterinary care or management. WiPSU worked directly with Kessina, providing the leadership training that enabled her to seek to influence the affairs of the village. She was elected to the post of Dip Tank Chairperson, a role traditionally reserved for men.

Kessina Moyo
Kessina's life was transformed by WiPSU training

Married at 16 Kessina ‘confined [herself] to the duties of a wife and did not know much about community development and leadership.’ She describes being shy, uneducated, and reticent about speaking in public spaces, and especially at community meetings dominated by men but, she says, ‘with men at the forefront of decision making, our village remained underdeveloped.’

WiPSU taught Kessina about her rights, as well as the role and responsibility of leaders, of ‘the importance of women’s participation and influence in decision-making.’

‘I gained a lot of confidence and I started to voice out my concerns and those of other women at village meetings’

After her election Kessina trained other women, who are now represented within the village committees. It is no coincidence that since women became actively involved in decision-making the village is planning two primary schools and a borehole has been constructed close to the community. This is just one example of the work WiPSU is doing in partnership with Womankind Worldwide.

Women collecting water
Women from Mathuphula collecting water from the recently constructed borehole

We are exceptionally proud to be able to support this kind of project. If you are interested in finding out more about the work Womankind Worldwide is doing, this time in Kenya, you should read Joanna's blog from earlier this year.

'For women' contains two highly researched strains of live cultures, which have been clinically trialled by over 2,500 women around the world, making it one of our most researched products in the range. Both strains are proven to reach the vagina alive. If you would like to learn about how 'For women' supports women's intimate health, you can find more information here.


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