Zimbabwe today joins the rest of the world in commemorating International Womenâ€™s Day.
The 2011 United Nations theme for this year is â€œEqual Access to Education, Training and Science and Techology: Pathway to Decent Work for Womenâ€.
The 8th of March was set aside by the United Nations to commemorate womenâ€™s contribution and achievements in the socio-economic development of the world.
2010 to 2020 was declared the Decade of African Women to compel governments to accelerate empowerment programmes.
Meanwhile, womenâ€™s organisations have applauded the government, then led by Zanu PF, for the tailor-made women empowerment programs which has seen a larger percentage being actively involved in governance issues whilst in education women have been afforded an opportunity through the affirmative action initiative.
The sentiments were echoed by representatives of the womenâ€™s movement at the International Womenâ€™s Day commemorations in Harare, hosted by the Womenâ€™s Coalition of Zimbabwe, who said women in Zimbabwe have lot to celebrate as since 1980 the government then led by Zanu PF put in place policies and programmes as well as legislation that protected the rights of women.
Women Coalition of Zimbabwe National Co-ordinator, Ms Netsai Mushonga, said after independence the government began putting in place these women emancipation programme and promoted womenâ€™s participation in the politics of the county and this should be commended as the proportional representation concept is achievable in Zimbabwe.
â€œAs women we feel that since 1980 significant progress has been made in empowering women politically and economically. But we
still think more needs to be done to achieve the proportional representation,â€ she said.
Women and Land in Zimbabwe National Co-coordinator, Mrs. Theresa Maturure and Ms Sylvia Chirawu,Â the coordinator of Women and Law in Southern Africa, said in the education sector the literacy rate has shot to 92% and this is commendable as women make up part of the number that shows the work done by government in ensuring access to education for the girl child.
They said: â€œIn education we have done well in the 92% pass rate women are also there so letâ€™s give a thumbs up to the government for that.â€
This yearâ€™s commemorations running under the theme: â€œEqual Access to Education, Science and Technology: Pathway to Decent Work for Womenâ€, will assess how governments globally have performed in affording women opportunities to advance academically as well as equal opportunities in employment.
Zimbabweâ€™s national celebrations will be held this Friday in Chinhoyi.
Meanwhile, the United Nations says it is committed to assisting Zimbabweâ€™s law enforcement agencies in implementing projects which ensure the fundamental freedoms of women and strengthen their position in society.
As the nation celebrates International Womenâ€™s Day to honour womenâ€™s achievements, the UN says it is imperative to enforce legislation that eliminate the treatment of women as second class citizens and offer them equal opportunities with their male counterparts.
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime National Project Coordinator for SADC, Advocate Johan Kruger says his organisation will continue to work closely with government to implement projects that guarantee womenâ€™s physical, sexual, and psychological freedoms.
He was speaking at the official opening of the National Training Workshop Project on Law enforcement responses to violence against women and children.
â€œWe will continue to work on projects that ensure the freedoms of women. As we celebrate the success of women, it is however worrying to note the continued abuse of women,â€ he said.Â
Advocate Kruger said his organisation will continue to work closely with the police to help eradicate cases of violence against women and children based on social cultural, ethnic and religious grounds.
The workshop will see 20 officers from the ZRP being trained in areas, which include introduction to violence against women and children, factors underlying violence and preventive approach amongst others.Â Â