Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Half a billion women can’t read: Gurira

By Bruce Ndlovu

Although she is now counted among Hollywood’s A-list stars, Zimbabwean actress Danai Gurira is aware of the fact that if circumstances did not go in her favour, she could be one of the many women around the globe facing extreme hardships.

Danai Gurira
Danai Gurira

In a letter published on her website on the International Day of the Girl Child, Gurira said although she had the privilege to speak or write about such issues, it was a right that more than half a billion women in the globe did not enjoy.

“In another version of my life, I might not be able to read this — let alone write it. I might not be allowed to act — let alone be an activist. My life today could be entirely different . . . Roughly 130 million girls did not go to school today, 1 000 will be infected by HIV today, and 144 girls will die as a result of violence. Just today. And every day after that. We must fight to stop this from being our global reality,” she said.

Gurira, who as a playwright has tried to highlight the struggles of women on the continent, said although women’s travails were more pronounced in some parts of the globe, the fight for the emancipation of women was global.

“It doesn’t matter if you are from London, Lagos or Los Angeles, right now leaders all around the world are deciding what needs to be done to solve these problems, and they need to hear from you. With our resilience, optimism, and activism, it is within our power to make poverty — and sexism — history, and to ultimately ensure girls can achieve all that is in their hearts and in their capabilities,” she said.

While gains had been made, Gurira said that the struggle for the ultimate emancipation of women was far from over.

“Until the nearly half a billion women and girls who are unable to read this article can, we must keep up the pressure and continue the fight. Put love into action today. For our girls,” she said.  Sunday News.