Zimbabwe/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.10 Gender equality and cultural policies

Women are very active in the cultural sector. According to the baseline survey of the cultural sector commissioned by the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust, ‘the highest proportion of female relative to male artists is in the film sub-sector (33%), and least in the visual arts sub-sector (24%). Within the visual arts sub-sector, females were concentrated in such activities as basketry, batik, crochet art and pottery while male counterparts focused on wood and stone sculptures, weld art and painting. 

Within the music sub-sector the highest ratio of female artists in leading roles was in the gospel and choral music genres. Across all genres, females played a larger role as backing vocals and dancers. Women were in leadership in less than 20% of music groups. This distribution could be explained by gender specific traditional roles in which men and women produced items to perform different household and community tasks. 

The civil liberties of women in Zimbabwe are severely restricted by tradition. In principle, the law guarantees women’s freedom of movement, but in practice, most men exercise almost constant control over their wives’ actions.[2] This reflects the true situation in Zimbabwe where gender imbalances continue to prevail in almost all sectors including education and politics despite several government policies to deal with these imbalances.

[2] http://genderindex.org/country/zimbabwe

Chapter published: 28-09-2011