|VP Mujuru challenges women|
|Friday, 13 April 2012 18:02|
Vice President Joice Mujuru says women should continue participating in the constitution making process to its finality to ensure that their rights and aspirations are guaranteed.
Cde Mujuru made the remarks during the official launch of the Zimbabwe Women Parliamentary Caucus Group of 20 in Harare.
The Vice President said women are only guaranteed of a gender sensitive constitution if they fully participate in all stages of the constitution making process, including the second all stakeholders’ conference and the referendum.
“We are gathered here as women to celebrate a milestone but we should not relax as we are far from attaining our freedoms. We should participate fully in the remaining stages so that our rights are guaranteed,” said Cde Mujuru.
Chairperson of the Group of 20, Cde Beatrice Nyamupinga said the major objective of the grouping is to ensure that all gender imbalances that were present in the previous constitution are addressed.
“We have realised gaps in our constitution as women issues are not prioritised. So this group is apolitical and will monitor the new constitution so that we achieve our goal as women of Zimbabwe,” Cde Nyamupinga said.
Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development Minister, Dr Olivia Muchena said her party, Zanu PF has a track record of campaigning for the emancipation of women, adding that the spearheading of the proportional representation concept which has been adopted by all political parties in the country bears testimony.
“We started this campaign as Zanu PF and we advocated for proportional representation, but there is power in numbers so we should forge ahead with the fight,” she said.
Other speakers applauded the initiative which will assist them in ensuring that women claim their fair share in the socio-economic and political spheres.
“We are fully behind this programme and there is no reason why we should fail to achieve our set objectives,” said Cde Edna Madzongwe, the President of the Senate.
MDC-T Women Assembly Chairperson, Ms Theresa Makone and Zimbabwe Women’s Lawyers Association Director, Ms Emilia Muchawa concurred that the basis of women’s progress should be support for each other especially on the political front.
“Women make up about 52% of the population and there is no reason for us not to work together especially during elections,” said Ms Makone.
“We have various challenges that we face as women from across the political divide, so if we unite as one common group, we can go far,” Ms Muchawa said.
The women who gathered for the conference were boosted by the support of traditional leaders, with Chief’s Council President, Chief Fortune Charumbira expressing traditional leaders’ commitment in supporting the women’s cause especially on the issue of proportional representation.
The Group of 20 is a constitution monitoring organ formed last year to ensure gender equality in the ongoing constitution making process.
It will be operating under the theme “Mapping Our Future As Zimbabwean Women.”