Art continues being used as a medium to communicate important messages that are in other circumstances are never talked about. In a bid to raise awareness of the plight that pregnant women encounter in their day to day activities, Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD) and Amagugu International Heritage Centre spearhead the process of painting a mural in Gwanda Central.
The motive behind the mural was inspired by the issues that women brought out during a series of town hall meetings that were conducted in Gwanda Central. During these town hall engagement meetings, it came to light that women’s major setback is the treatment they get both in the home and the requirements they ought to meet at health care centres.
In some instances, pregnant women are still burdened with care work such as fetching for water, firewood and also taking care of the home. Despite the level of complication relating to the pregnancy, it becomes near impossible for members of the family to actually offer to help an expecting mother, as gender roles are ascribed to the woman in the home.
According to the Zimbabwe Maternal and Neo-Health Strategy (2017-2021), cites the Three Delay Model, which highlights the challenges that women face with reproductive health issues in general, and predominantly with recognising danger signs at a time when their own wellbeing is seriously threatened.
The mural painting is a call to churches, health departments, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to ensure that they disseminate information that relates to maternal reproductive and health care among the expecting mothers and families of an expecting woman to limit instances of endangering the unborn child and that of the mother.
To date, three murals have since been painted to raise awareness of the social problems that women including young women are faced with in accessing sexual, reproductive, and health care, and their involvement in decision making forums.
Two of these are located in Umzingwane Ward 16, Habane Township and in Bulawayo’s Ward 7, Makokoba.
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