TESHE Young Women’s Movement is an organization for young women by young women. Our passion is to see broad based empowerment for all young Zimbabwean females. The name, TESHE is derived from the Ndau dialect and it means Together. TOGETHER, we can rise up and see a new country that truly empowers its young women. Our catch phrase as TESHE Young Women’s Movement is TARAMBA KUSARA – WE WON’T BE LEFT OUT! We are every bit entitled to all Zimbabwe has to offer and we make no apologies for demanding our rightful place.
As TESHE Young Women’s Movement, we realize that there is a general lack of access to Sexual and Reproductive health rights for young women, exacerbated by the socio-cultural dynamics of the patriarchal nature that is Zimbabwe. One of our mandates is to foster an enabling environment for young women to exercise and enjoy ALL their rights and attain social and economic autonomy.
It’s no secret that even with some knowledge of SRHR, given the over 90% unemployment level in Zimbabwe, most young women end up in “survival” mode, resorting to high risk behavior to sustain themselves. This situation undoubtedly compromises to a large extent their ability to negotiate safe sex, demand their reproductive health rights and leave relationships marred with GBV because they don’t have a sustainable livelihood for both themselves and their children. Subsequently, young women have become the face of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Zimbabwe has the third largest HIV burden in Southern Africa. Among women age 15 – 49, the prevalence is 18%, compared with 12 percent among men age 15 – 49. The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare estimates show that women aged 15-24 are twice more likely to become infected with HIV than their male counterparts. The 2010-11 ZDHS corroborates the information from the MoHCW as the findings show that the overall HIV prevalence among women aged 15-49 was 21.1% and 14.5% for their male counterparts. In the ages from 15 to 34 years women had significantly higher HIV prevalence than their male age peers. This data suggests that much of the HIV infection has a new face- YOUNG WOMEN!
The overall purpose of the organization is, therefore, to identify and address ALL obstacles that stand between young women and their recognition of SRHR in life, and how we do that is through EMPOWERMENT.
Empowerment is a word that has been taken to just mean financial empowerment. While being financially empowered is important, TESHE believes that young women must be empowered in ALL spheres.
TESHE is also an acronym which means:-
T ranscending marginalization and exclusion
E quality for all Young women
S ustainable Livelihoods
H ope for a brighter future
E mpowerment in all spheres