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New Directions: Women of Zimbabwe
A film by Joanne Burke
France/Zimbabwe, 1997, 145 minutes, Color, DVD, Subtitled
Order No. W00649
From award-winning documentarian Joanne Burke's series about women's empowerment in developing countries, WOMEN OF ZIMBABWE focuses on a group of five daring women who have taken up the challenge of creating their own future in the traditionally male field of carpentry. At its center is Fatima Shoriwa, an inspiration to many of her countrywomen. Owner of a thriving carpentry business, she also openly advocates education, family planning, safe sex practices, and economic self-sufficiency for women. The group's other four members are Fatima's apprentices, who range in age from seventeen to twenty-three. Shown at work as mutually supportive members of a collaborative team, at home with their children, and on visits to their families in rural Zimbabwe, all five offer unique insights into the choices and changes in their lives as well as the traditional customs and roles that have shaped their experience.


    “An uplifting and hopeful story…powerful source material for both academic and labor education about globalization and its impact on poor countries.”
    Labor Studies Journal

    "This inspiring story of how one woman has used entry into a nontraditional work area to achieve empowerment for herself and others offers lessons for all of us interested in women's self-employment and gender equality. While the example is from Africa, the principles that emerge are widely applicable."
    Joanne Sandler

    "An impressive and also highly enjoyable film, on a heartening theme. Brilliantly captures the characters and personalities of the women and their efforts to build better lives."
    David Cope
    Ashoka Foundation, U.K.

    "Joanne Burke's 'Women of Zimbabwe' is poetry in motion and clearly an affirmation of life."
    Tricia Danielle Keaton
    Education Department, University of California, Berkeley

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    New Directions: Women of Zimbabwe is included in the following Special Collections.
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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us