Stories about IYWD's involvement with young women in the community

Guruve : Young woman shattering the glass ceiling.

Twenty years ago, the glass ceiling was considered to be the reason why the arenas of power were dominated by men. The concept stresses out the impossibility of women to advance on the scale of professions higher than they already have, claiming that women do not lack ambition or strong will, but they are kept from doing so by invisible obstacles. [1] The Institute for Young Women Development (IYWD) has been fighting these barriers for over ten years through capacity building of women who live in rural areas of Mashonaland Central and at a national level. 

Interventions such as the Transformative Leadership Training (TLT) and the Personal Branding Academy have ignited the spirit of taking up leadership positions among young women. Sarudzai Mashumba aged 36 is one of the young women from ward 22 in Guruve District of Mashonaland Central Province who has risen to the occasion of leadership. She  took part in Transformative Leadership Trainings hosted by the Institute for Young Women Development (IYWD) and as the Ward 22 youth Chairperson for her political party and Village Secretary, she is already preparing herself for the upcoming 2023 elections. She appreciates that to shift this prejudicial narrative one has to start well ahead of time.  After sometime of being a leader without much purpose, Sarudzai Mashumba was inspired by the TLTs and Personal Branding Academy to rebrand her own leadership model. As she is preparing to stand as a Councilor for Ward 22 in Guruve she has improved and enhanced her brand, in order to boost her campaign. The change can be noted through the way she now dresses, talks and interacts with others, knowledge acquired through  the Personal Branding Academy and  Coaching. She explained that, “my brand and campaign will be rooted in servant leadership that is why l take time to voluntarily clean our local borehole area these days”.

Sarudzai Mashumba Political Party Youth Chairperson  ward 22 Ruyamuro Guruve.

Sarudzai’s efforts will go a long way to address the findings of our feminist analysis of the 2018 elections that was conducted by Institute for Young Women Development, entitled “Free for All but not Free for 52%”. According to this research there were alarmingly few women who made it as Councilors in Guruve. Out of the 24 wards no female Councillors were elected into office in the past national election. These statistics induce a sense of shock and disappointment, because women and girls constitute 52% of the national demographic. 




[1] Women and Politics – The Glass Ceiling, Irina Zamfirache, 2010.

 As a youth chairperson her roles and responsibilities in the community are to organise and chair youth meetings, mobilise, and monitor community activities to ensure that there is equal access to opportunities for young people. She explained that,  “in our communities there are job opportunities and food distributions that may be targeting youth, unfortunately due to dishonesty some individuals are left behind hence it is my responsibility to monitor such opportunities to ensure that the youth get what is due to them”.


 Sarudzai appreciates that the journey will not be easy but she is grateful for the Personal Branding Academy and Transformative Leadership Training that have capacitated her to contest for the office of Councilor in the 2023 elections. While she now appreciates the unfair advantage that men have in politics, she is also aware of the power to influence that she possesses. We are proud of Sarudzai and the bold steps she is taking in Guruve, we will continue to cheer her on during this journey of significant and substantial change. Sister Sister!!!!