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Dr Olivia Gumbo readies another gem: Voices of Pro...

Dr Olivia Gumbo readies another gem: Voices of Professional Women: Perspectives from the Global South

Dr Olivia Gumbo

Zim Now Writer

Social accountability expert, Dr Olivia Gumbo has just penned another book, Voices of Professional Women: Perspectives from the Global South.
The book, which is set to be officially launched at Holiday Inn in Harare on March 1, is the writer's third book.
The other two are It's for You Lord and Parenting Children of Influence in the Digital World.

Besides women’s groups, the Women’s Affairs Ministry and the Zimbabwe Gender Commission, several other organisations are expected to grace the March 1 launch.

Voices of Professional Women: Perspectives from the Global South chronicles the journey she has gone through as a professional woman.

By “professional”, the author encompasses those in the public and private sector, civil sector, development sector and those who are self-employed whose experiences she had been collecting from these women.

One of the major aims of the book, according to Dr Gumbo, is to empower the young woman who is coming into the professional realm so that they can manoeuvre past the
challenges therein.

“The women have to be reminded that they are not alone in this situation, there are many other women who are facing the same predicament. It is also challenging managers at workplaces to respect women and not create problems for them, Dr Gumbo said in an interview with Zim Now, adding that the issue of discrimination is also touched on.

“There are situations where a woman can go on maternity leave and when she returns, she finds her job is gone and yet another dimension where women actually block advancement of other women.

“In certain workplaces, female employees are treated as mistresses while some bosses can even treat them as their wives. Sometimes you find women being reduced to giving people refreshments in the boardroom instead of contributing ideas for the growth of the company.

The exclusion that women suffer at the workplace is also brought to the fore.

 “When men knock off work, they can go to the sports club for drinks and play golf or some other sport. Key company decisions are made at these places at a time when women are supposed to be at home breastfeeding, cooking or some other chores.

The liberation struggle background in Zimbabwean society seems to have normalised women positions as male subordinates. “Chimbwidos were treated as sex objects during the liberation struggle. In student activism circles, if a female student complains about being treated as a sex object, the men 
can create stories around you so that you are shunned,” Dr Gumbo said.

Dr Gumbo, who co-formed Ungano, a platform where professional women can come together to talk about their issues, said the Voices of Professional Women: Perspectives from the Global South can be used by women organisations in championing their issues while also mentoring young women.

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