The First Lady Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa has reaffirmed her commitment to fighting gender based discrimination and champion the emancipation of girls and women.

This came out at the official launch of the Girls Get Equal initiative by Plan International Zimbabwe this Thursday (today).

The Girls Get Equal initiative is aimed at achieving equal power, equal freedom and equal representation for girls and women in all spheres of life.

The First Lady who officially launched the programme said partnerships are important in the fight against discrimination and abuse of women and girls.

She called on the relevant ministries to push for enactment of legislation that protect children and women against abuse.

“Girls are undervalued and underestimated by our patriarchal societies. We need to deal with this issue and work with young girls. I have started working with the girl child. My presence here is in appreciation of the work done by Plan International and other partners in fighting discrimination against the girl child,” said the Amai Mnangagwa.

The First Lady expressed concern that the recent scrapping of duty on pads had not yet yielded the desired goals as they are still being sold at high prices.

“I pledge to continue working hard in defending girls and young women’s rights. I will support them in fighting stereotyping of girls in all aspects. I also challenge the stakeholders to step up the campaign and fight for the cause of our girls,” she said.

Plan International country director Dr Angela Muriithi said the global campaign is aimed at making a difference to young girls and women.

“Girls are excluded from decision making. Women constitute only 31 percent of legislators and we need to address this starting with our young girls,” she said.

Stakeholders have also pledged their unwavering support to ensure girls get equal.

“As traditional leaders we have made a commitment to end child marriages. We must lead by example and legislators must ensure there are adequate laws to protect children,” said some of the stakeholders.

The constitutional judgement which outlawed child marriages is viewed as an empty threat if not supported by a progressive legislation.