The first person I met in Zimbabwe was my cab driver from the airport, who’s first language was Shona and who’s English was very broken, but I still managed to pantomime-ask him what I needed to eat while here.
So, I’ll breeze right past travel because it is the worst, always, and I am truly concerned that it may one day prevent me from going anywhere, ever, unless it is first class, which I will never be able to afford. When I arrived Sunday, Brian, my supervisor, gave me some really light optional work and I went to bed early.
As an introductory matter, I was in Harare, Zimbabwe to do some field work on a project I’ve been working for The University of Chicago Law’s International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC). Zimbabwe ratified a new constitution in 2013 that is very progressive, and enumerates several previously un-enumerated women’s rights, such as equal participation in public life and in marriage. That being the case, some of the laws which currently exist in Zimbabwe have been rendered unconstitutional–and yet, the supremacy of the Constitution is not being recognized. The government, through the ratification process, has also taken on new affirmative obligations towards women–but many (if not most) are yet unmet. IHRC–working on behalf of the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWLA)–has been investigating ways to remedy these inconsistencies, either through legislative reforms, or through affirmative action program proposals, or through grass-roots awareness campaigns. On Monday, we met with Netsai Mushonga, to get her input on some of the solutions that we’ve been developing for ZWLA.