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How Women in Zimbabwe Overcame a Culture of Fear to Build a Culture of Resistance

Source: Waging Nonviolence

This text is adapted from “The Paradox of Repression and Nonviolent Movements,” edited by Lester R. Kurtz and Lee A. Smithey for Syracuse University Press.

Suffering under the brutal dictatorship of the Robert Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe, a group of women rose up courageously as “mothers of the nation” to challenge his elite rule and build grassroots democratic change in their communities. Women of Zimbabwe Arise, or WOZA, mobilized a campaign of “tough love,” using the traditional role and moral authority of mother to scold the repressive and corrupt leaders of the country and call for a new kind of society where equality and social justice prevail. This joining of love, power and justice echoes the vision and experience of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who declared, “Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.” read more