• Background Image

    News & Updates

    gender equality

March 17, 2014

Meet the Rotary Peace Fellows – Nixon Nembaware

Nixon Nembaware graduated with a Master’s degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Science undergraduate degree in Political Science and Administration, with honors from the University of Zimbabwe. He accepted his Peace Fellowship from the Innational Christian   Before accepting the Rotary Peace Fellowship, Nixon was working as a Gender and Equality Advisor for Concern Worldwide, within the organization’s various programs. He focused primarily on women’s empowerment in agriculture.

Nixon is now based at the Rotary Peace Center at the International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan. But he can travel to any of the other Rotary Peace Centers. While Peace Fellows are assisigned to a specific peace center, there is sigificant travel among the centers.  The whole list of Rotary Peace Fellowship programs include:  Duke/UNC, NC, USA; International Christian University, Tokyo, JAPAN;

Prior to working with Concern Worldwide, Nixon worked as the Gender Advisor for Padare-Zimbabwe Men’s Gender Forum which is a leading men’s gender movement in Zimbabwe. His work focused on engaging men and boys in Zimbabwe to envision a new Zimbabwean man by curbing male violence against women and children and by redefining toxic notions of masculinity. Nixon’s work emphasized the importance of providing education on HIV/AIDS and Sexual Reproductive Health Rights.

Nixon has already built a notable career as an activist and organizer, putting together a men’s march against male violence on Women’s Day in 2009. He participated in the Silent Witness National Initiative against domestic violence organized by the Women’s Crisis Support Team located in Grants Pass, Oregon, which is in the Northwest region of the United States. While in Grants Pass, a city within Josephine County in the southern part of the state, Nixon also worked with boys in a project that focused on developing positive masculine behaviors as well as a culture of peace and tolerance.

Nixon has provided consultancy services to several organizations in Zimbabwe on “mainstreaming gender,” helping them plan strategically to achieve gender equality. He also served as an advisor on an initiative for the involvement of men, organized by the Ministry of Health, to support the Prime Minister’s campaign for child immunization in Zimbabwe.

In 2011, Nixon helped to successfully mobilize 20,000 Zimbabwean men to support a new gender-sensitive national constitution ahead of a data gathering exercise and a referendum.

Nixon’s career aspirations are to work on gender and equality issues in war torn countries around the world. He hopes to contribute positively to the creation and maintenance of an effective and progressive governance system in Zimbabwe.

We asked each Peace Fellow two interview questions.  Here are Nixon’s answers:

1.  What is your opinion about the prospects of an end to armed conflict in the next 50 years?

Tackling poverty, inequality, and challenging the invisible forms of structural violence will help us achieve considerable levels of peace. I believe that our generation has to lay the foundation if ever peace is to be a reality. If ever we are going to leave a meaningful inheritance for our children and grandchildren, we have to leave them peace.

2.  What do you believe are the three most important contributing factors to fostering peace within and among nations?

  • Respect for human life
  • Putting peace on the agendas of the national governments
  • Concerted efforts to fight poverty

We are very grateful to Nixon for sharing his interesting and inspiring biographical information. As he moves ahead with his career focusing on gender equality, we hope he will keep us informed of what he thinks we should be talking more about to reach the goal of full gender equality.  The Rotary Centers around the world include

The Rotary Peace Fellows we have introduced to you in this series have, we hope, inspired some of you to find a part of the complex peace process that motivates you and will pursue it, whether you just learn more about it, or find local groups where you can network and do more. Keep this fundamental truth in mind as you look for a role you can play—only in a fully fair and just environment that ensures economic and gender equality for everyone will our world survive and thrive.

Your comments are welcome.  Send them directly to our Managing Editor at:  rebecca.popham@tutufoundationusa.org, or use the “Post a Comment” box below if you prefer.

May 4, 2013

We Can Stop Violence Against Women

A 4 year-old girl died recently from cardiac arrest at Care Hospital in Nagpur, India after being raped by a 35 year old man, Firoz Khan.  He was  later apprehended by police and confessed to the crime.  The girl was allegedly abducted from Ghansaur, a small town in central India, on April 17, and was found by her family the next day, unconscious and with severe head injuries.  Though she was quickly airlifted to a hospital in Nagpur and put on a ventilator, she did not survive.

This incident was the latest in a series of brutal assaults on very young girls that have sparked outrage in the country and raised awareness about how women and girls are treated in India, and around the globe.

Statistics collected by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women about violence against women and girls worldwide paint a grim picture of the scope of the tragedy.

  • Worldwide, up to 50 percent of sexual assaults are committed against girls under 16.
  • An estimated 150 million girls under the age of 18 suffered some form of sexual violence in 2002 alone.
  • Most of this violence takes place within intimate relationships, with husbands or partners as the perpetrator.
  • The first sexual experience of some 30 percent of women was forced. The percentage is even higher among those under the age of 15 at the time of their sexual initiation.  Up to 45 percent of girls in this group reported that the experience was forced.

And the violence takes many forms:

  • Approximately 100 to 140 million girls and women in the world have experienced female genital mutilation.
  • Over 60 million girls worldwide are child brides, married before the age of 18. Women who marry early are more likely to be beaten or threatened, and more likely to believe that a husband might sometimes be justified in beating his wife.
  • Women and girls are 80 percent of the estimated 800,000 people trafficked across national borders annually, with the majority (79 percent) trafficked for sexual exploitation.
  • Between 40 and 50 percent of women in European Union countries experience various forms of sexual harassment at work. In Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines and South Korea 30 to 40 percent of women suffer workplace sexual harassment.
  • In the United States, 83 percent of girls aged 12 to 16 experienced some form of sexual harassment in public schools
  • Conservative estimates suggest that hundreds of thousands of women and girls have been the victims of rape and other forms of violence during recent conflicts in Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans.

Gender-based violence both reflects and reinforces inequities between men and women and compromises the health, dignity, security and autonomy of its victims. It encompasses a wide range of human rights violations, including sexual abuse of children, rape, domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment, trafficking of women and girls and several harmful traditional practices. Any one of these abuses can leave deep psychological scars, damage the health of women and girls in general, including their reproductive and sexual health, and in some instances, results in death.

Over the years, there have been many theories about the causes of violence against women range from biological to social, political and economic.  To varying degrees, in many countries, women have restricted access, relative to their male counterparts, to education, health services and justice systems.  Gender inequality is often rooted in social attitudes and traditions, and enshrined in a web of legal statutes.

The United Nations has developed a list of recommendations aimed at dismantling gender inequality in all its forms and ending the violence it spawns.  But the very first step must be to bring this issue into the light where it can be acknowledged and acted upon at all levels of society.  In India, the recent brutal attacks against young women and girls have brought a public furor and activism never seen before.  This recognition of an intolerable situation is the first step to real change.  The struggle of women around the world for equality and freedom from violence is one that we all share.

We want to hear your thoughts, ideas and suggestions.  Join the discussion – here, on Twitter and on Facebook.  (On Twitter use the hashtag #dtpfsvaw.)