The government has set aside US$10 million capital for the establishment of a women’s micro-finance bank that is anticipated to enhance financial inclusion of women and will contribute towards empowerment of women and achievement of ZIMASSET objectives.

This was said by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Deputy Governor, Dr Charity Dhliwayo during commemorations to mark International Women’s Day.

Cabinet ministers, members of parliament, commissioners, UN officials, ambassadors accredited to Zimbabwe, representatives from women organisations, and women in leadership positions, sang and danced as they celebrated the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.

Guest of honour, Dr Dhliwayo said some funds have been set aside for the establishment of a women’s bank.

The Minister of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, Cde Nyasha Chikwinya said over the years the government has registered remarkable progress in the area of women empowerment and gender equality, including the enactment of the new constitution with clear provisions promoting gender equality and to eradicate discriminatory laws, customs and traditional practices and now it is time to focus on economic empowerment.

UN Resident Coordinator, Mr Bisho Parajuli concurred saying even in workplaces the majority of women are still occupying lower levels.

Child President, Tinaye Mbavari and Child Senate President, Mavis Chimbanu concurred that national development will be impeded if women and girls are not able to fully realise their rights and aspirations in all spheres of life.

This year’s International Women’s Day is being celebrated under the theme: ‘Be Bold for Change,’ and the theme for Zimbabwe is: ‘The Woman We Want Is, Bankable, Business-minded, Brainy, Beautiful, Bold, Blessed and Balanced.

International Women’s Day was first proposed by the United States of America on 28 February 1909, and was then declared by the former Soviet Union government on the 8th of March 1965 and 10 years later, was formally adopted by the UN.