Original Research

‘Land as a womb’: Impact of gender imbalances on land redistribution in the Third Chimurenga

Daniel Muzenda
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 41, No 1 | a2049 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v41i1.2049 | © 2020 Daniel Muzenda | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 September 2019 | Published: 12 November 2020

About the author(s)

Daniel Muzenda, Department of Systematic and Historical Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

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This theoretical article analyses the impact of gender imbalances in land redistribution in Zimbabwe’s Third Chimurenga. The article argues that if land is a womb, why is that women who are the mothers are sidelined and undermined in land redistribution in postcolonial Zimbabwe. The article also highlights the importance of land which led to a group of 90 women scaling the highest mountain in protest of land imbalances on the basis of gender. History has it that many people were displaced, uprooted and some even killed because of land issues. In this struggle for land, there is always a section of society which is undermined and pushed to the periphery when it comes to the use and ownership of this valuable resource. Land is the centre of reproduction and production in Zimbabwe. It gives people their sense of belonging and identity. Women in the Third Chimurenga sang, danced and gave moral support but the land tenure systems prohibit them to own land outside male or patriarchal dominance. In this article, I demonstrated the impact of gender imbalances on land redistribution in the Third Chimurenga by highlighting the power of a group of women who scaled the highest mountain in Zimbabwe, Mount Nyangani, to challenge the land tenure systems that oppress women so far as land ownership is concerned. The article engages the black liberation theological paradigm to show the irruption of women into the sacred space dominated by the male.

Interdisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article is interdisciplinary in the sense that it cuts across disciplines as it addresses issues of land, gender, patriarchy and a liberation theology which reflect the need for human emancipation, especially the oppressed groups.


land; gender; patriarchy; Chimurenga; Zimbabwe


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Crossref Citations

1. Daughters of Zelophehad – Quest for gender justice in land acquisition and ownership
Kelebogile T. Resane
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doi: 10.4102/hts.v77i2.6541