Zimbabwe today has joined the global community in commemorating the International Women’s Day with the government re-affirming its commitment towards achieving women empowerment through the signing and ratification of protocols, regional and international conventions.
The government has supported women’s economic empowerment in line with various laws and policies which include the Domestic Violence Act, Sexual Offences Act, Labour Relations Act and the National Gender Policy of 2004.
Gaps however still exist between Zimbabwean men and women in terms of their access to and control over resources, opportunities and decision making.
Vice President Kembo Mohadi, who officially launched the commemorations at Gwelutshena business centre in Nkayi, this afternoon, said there is need to place emphasis on paving a way forward instead of spending too much energy and debate on constraints facing women at present.
“I firmly believe that the eradication of poverty and the economic empowerment of women are the cornerstones for achieving gender equality and subsequently sustainable development. Some of the initiatives being implemented by the government that deserve special mention include facilitating women’s participation in key economic sectors such as agriculture, tourism and mining,” he said.
Other speakers who include the Minister of Women and Youth Affairs, Cde Sithembiso Nyoni and the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Cde Petronella Kagonye concurred that there is need to assist women to embark on income generating projects.
Matabeleland North Minister of State Ambassador Cain Mathema said there is a need to assist women through education, employment creation and income generating projects.
He, however, stressed the need to invest in water so as to enhance opportunities for women to embark on agricultural projects.
A representative of women in the private sector, Mrs Juliana Muskwe urged her counterparts to take up leadership positions as they have a contribution to make in the socio-economic development of the country.
Mrs Muskwe said there are many women who through their leadership positions have contributed to the development of the country and urged local women to take up such challenges if they are to achieve personal goals.
The International Women’s Day commemorations have become an important platform and a reminder of the commitment being made by various countries and organisations to further the agenda on gender equality and equity.
The commemorations are being held under theme: ‘Transforming Women’s Lives through Economic Empowerment’.