The First Lady Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa was on ground advocating for the empowerment of women, children and vulnerable groups in Zimbabwe while the President, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa was engaged in his busy schedule in China.

During the historic state visit to China, Amai Mnangagwa had the opportunity to mee the First Lady of the People’s Republic of China Madame Peng and the All China Women’s Federation.

Amai Mnangagwa’s meeting with her counterpart happened on the sidelines of the meeting between the two Heads of State and Government after the welcoming ceremony in Beijing.

Briefing journalists at her offices in Harare, the First Lady said her Chinese counterpart who is an ambassador for HIV talked about various issues of common interest including the plight of women, children and the vulnerable with emphasis on orphans and those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.

Madame Peng also invited the First Lady to a conference of first ladies to discuss the treatment and care of children affected by HIV and AIDS.

The conference will be held on the sidelines of the FOCAC Summit scheduled for Beijing in September this year.

Concerns were also raised on early child marriages, women cancer and the need for training and skills development for rural women to enhance their economic development and empowerment.

The First Lady of China congratulated Amai Mnangagwa on the launch of her Angel of Hope Foundation and pledged to support the initiative.

Amai Mnangagwa had the opportunity to also meet the All China Women’s Federation where she was updated on the outcome of the 19th National People’s Congress and on the re-election of President Xi Jinping and common interests.

The All China Women’s Federation shared experiences with regards to advocacy activities on status of women, gender equality and mainstreaming into all spheres including the mandatory inclusion of rural women into working committees within their communities.

It was revealed China has a deliberate policy to ensure women economic empowerment by advancing subsidised loans to women.

On health matters the First Lady was made aware of China’s cervical and breast cancer screening programme which is targeting some 150 million cancer patients by year 2020.

Amai Mnangagwa shared her experiences in the area where she has a campaign for Zimbabwean women.

The First Lady’s interface with the Chinese will go a long way in the sharing of ideas and projects to empower women and communities in Zimbabwe.