Empowering women involves the increase of their spiritual, political, social or economic strength as individuals and their communities. It gives women authority to develop confidence in their own capacities.

When they participate fully in economic life across all sectors, essentially builds stronger economies, to achieve internationally agreed goals for development and sustainability, and improve the quality of life for them, men, families and communities.

Why it is important​? It is important to empower women because of the following reasons;

  • They are under employed and unemployed
  • They are equally competent and intelligent
  • Women are as talented as men
  • Their ability to bring overall development to society
  • They bring economic benefits to society
  • They help reduces domestic violence
  • They assist in reducing corruption in some ways
  • Women reduce poverty
  • They bring national development
  • They are irreplaceable in some sectors and jobs

Women’s Rights​: Women Empowerment has also highlighted their rights through the Women’s Rights Movement.  This gives Women Rights to fight for equal right with men in;

  • Gaining property rights
  • Women’s suffrage – right to vote
  • Reproductive rights – the right to work for equal pay
  • Rights to live free from violence, slavery and discrimination
  • Rights to be equally educated
  • Earn a fair and equal pay to men
  • Women’s rights are their human rights which gives the entitlement to to all these rights

Women should be given the right to take over main dominated careers and be appointed to in senior roles in the industry.  I will dwell on my appointment in 1989 as Air Zimbabwe’s first and only female Security Operations Manager in Charge at Victoria Falls International Airport.  I had been appointed after leaving the Zimbabwe Republic Police based at Matabeleland North Provincial Headquarters in Bulawayo, Stops Camp.

Credit Ceciliah Chigwada

I was appointed after excelling at the interview, attaining higher results and beat one other male who had been the vice in charge at Harare Airport.  He had been with air Zimbabwe over 17 years at the time.  The challenge that came with the job was not only the adverse and rude attitude of my to be colleagues but that firstly, it was a new appointment and a new office that I had to set up myself.  Secondly, I had challenges dealing with female flight attendants who some of them were quite mean to me. Thirdly having to deal with the worker’s committee because my appointment had been

escalated to them as improper.  Fourth challenge was to deal with the airport staff who had worked at the airport without the scrutiny of the security department.  Most of their operations violated most if not all airline security rules and regulations.

Credit Ceciliah Chigwada


How I overcame the challenges that I faced.

I was able to overcome the challenges that I faced.  Hard work paid off and will always pay off in every situation.  The secret to success is self-empowerment.  This means taking control of one’s own life, setting goals and making positive choices in whatever you do in whatever challenge you are faced with.  My situation was complicated in that everyone around me was hoping that I fail as a woman and other women too did not want to see me succeed.  It was not only a volatile situation but dangerous too.  You walk into an environment where people have worked for years as close allies, soldiers on the front line and a legion so to speak.  They had so much to hide.

Understanding one’s strengths and weaknesses and having self-belief is the core to successful self-empowerment.

If you as a person, lacks self-belief with added strength, determination, dedication and commitment to achieve, you will just falter.  I had that in me.  Self-drive and self-belief and an I can do attitude compounded with my background in the police and experience made me excel. A confident, I don’t care attitude helped because people realised that I could not be intimidated.

Credit Ceciliah Chigwada

Competency was also a key factor.  Once you prove yourself, it keeps the haters off your back.  It is also important to use one’s own imagination to complete tasks and that will sway people from negativity to marvel your good work.  That paid off.  Planning my work methodically and drafting a to do list that I checked on, daily and crossing off as I fulfilled the tasks helped.  Do not be afraid to ask questions with boldness and identify sympathisers and capitalize on them for assistance.  Making friends is important. I took advantage of natural talents and went outside the box to make decisions.  I believe that anyone can make a decision, right or wrong so long you can justify it just go for it.  Then you cannot be perceived as dumb, which you would be if one is indecisive.  Failure is not an option, whatever it takes, fight to win.

To wind off, understanding of the Pes

Credit Ceciliah Chigwada

tle and Swot analysis of every organisation will give one the upper hand to success.  When you understand the in-depth monitoring of the organisation’s macro-environment and external framework gives one the advantage to understand the organisation and its goals, strategy and vision.  Air Zimbabwe as an organisation in Victoria Falls and in the country had a diverse interaction with other organisations, departments both Government and parastatals, VIPs including heads of states and other airlines contracted to it.  It was important to understand its external environment and its impact on lines of security and its management. The role was challenging and at the same exciting having to work with diverse people and no day was ever the same.  Kept me alert and on my toes.  In the end everyone had no choice but to seek advice from me.


By Ceciliah Chigwada


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