Mugota / Ixhiba

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Students and Youth Working on reproductive Health Action Team

Mugota is male student’s platform where they meet and discuss all life issues that affect them as young people. It is a space where ideas are shared; problems are discussed on the basis of equality and generating free and frank discussion. The Mugota platform resembles the traditional Dare where men used to gather and speak about life issues that affect them while at the same time discussing issues and skills that defined their manhood. Mugota concept was developed  during the 5th National Students’ Conference in December 2010 which ran under the theme ‘Rights Right into the Decade,’ where  male students identified the absence of free platform for them to discuss their Sexual and Reproductive Health issues using gender lenses as a key priority and programming area. The male students’ delegates highlighted that society has created a young man who is supposed to conform to outdated perceptions of masculinity and insensitivity to women’s issues.. This has presented both sexual and reproductive health and gender related challenges for young men`s psychosocial wellbeing.

During the 2012 7th National Students Conference, Mugota came up with 7 resolutions which they presented as guidelines on how they are going to move forward as a force in the fight against gender based related challenges, highlighting their commitments as young men. The pledge read as follows:

Mugota/ Ixhiba Young Men’s Talk Commitment Pledge

We Mugota/ Ixhiba/ Young Men’s Talk, being a group of young men from Zimbabwe’s Institutions of higher learning are:

  1. Aware of the need to freely discuss SRHR Challenges faced in tertiary institutions and beyond that affect us as young men and young women,
  2. Conscious of the patriarchal nature of our society and the challenges that come with this patriarchy which has invested a lot of power in both young men and men making them either perpetrators or victims of gender based violence,
  3. Fully recognising and accepting that young women and women in general are our equals but are being suppressed and disadvantaged in our communities.

We therefore take the following 7 commitments:

  1.  That as Mugota we will champion a new generation of young men that critically analyses gender dynamics in our tertiary institutions and how they affect us.
  2. We take a conscious decision to remove all male made political, socio-economic and physical barriers such as labelling, violence or any other such means that disallows the young women to participate equally in tertiary institutions.
  3.  To mobilize more young men to actively participate in the struggle for gender equality and equity for the benefit of our community at both campus and national level
  4.  To raise consciousness on and eliminate all forms of sexual harassment primarily in our tertiary institutions and beyond
  5. To critically challenge norms, values, attitudes and perceptions of young men to young women’s leadership in political, economic, and social facets of campus life and society in general.
  6. Redefine masculinity and centres of power within  dating and our love relationships
  7. Actively advocate and Lobby for Gender mainstreaming in the form of Gender parity, Gender budgeting and Gender sensitive policies as a vehicle to a gender just campus environment.
  8. As young men of Mugota/Ixhiba/Young Men’s Talk, here gathered at the 7th edition of the SAYWHAT National Students Conference, we make these 7 commitments as our contribution to the achievement of sustainable developments that upholds, protects and fulfils the right of all human beings as equals.

Together we learn, together we make a difference