Name: Fanny Chirisa
What she does: Director of the Women in Politics Support Unit (WiPSU) in Zimbabwe
Impact: Has helped to promote women’s leadership and increase women’s political participation in Zimbabwe
Nominated by: Celena Green, Vital Voices
Fanny Chirisa is Director of the Women in Politics Support Unit (WiPSU) in Zimbabwe.
The purpose of WiPSU is to increase women’s political participation in Zimbabwe, and strengthen the leadership capacities of women in elected office in Zimbabwe. WIPSU works with young women and university student leaders, women in local government (councilors), and women parliamentarians of all parties, and counts among its success stories several parliamentarians, councilors, mayors, and cabinet ministers.
Fanny has led WiPSU for the last ten years. She works tirelessly and at great personal risk, to change the political culture and end political violence and intolerance in Zimbabwe, by promoting equity and accountability among public officials so that they become effective leaders. Because of its quality work and nonpartisan approach, WiPSU has gained the credibility of the community and thus has popular support to operate in Zimbabwe’s challenging environment. .
In spite of this success, Fanny remains an unseen power woman in Zimbabwe. The political environment in Zimbabwe overall is very challenging, especially for woman. Additionally, as a pro-democracy organization, Fanny faces additional threats as she works to open the political process to women and youth who are often excluded
Fanny was the runner-up in the category Human Rights. Here her brother, Farayi, collects the award on her behalf and talks about the impact of her work.