Harare (New Ziana)-Zimbabwe on Tuesday joined the rest of the world in commemorating International Day for Women, amid government assurances that it would continue to finance various economic projects for women.
The day is being celebrated under the international theme, “Gender equality today for sustainable tomorrow.”
Zimbabwe’s theme is “Gender mainstreaming and women empowerment in climate change and disaster risk management.”
Addressing the commemorations In Harare, Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development deputy minister Jennifer Mhlanga said Zimbabwe had made some strides in achieving gender equality.
“Zimbabwe has a robust legal and institutional framework which promotes gender equality and women empowerment. The Constitution is progressive in terms of advancing women’s rights, as it contains an expansive bill of rights, gender equality notions and specific and elaborate rights for women,” she said.
She, however, said a lot still needs to be done in terms of promoting the participation of women in politics and decision making and other spheres of life.
Mhlanga said the ministry was pushing various women empowerment programmes such as access to finance and markets, capacity building and provision of work space.
“My Ministry administers the Women Development Fund, a vehicle for provision of affordable loans to women. These funds have promoted financial inclusion among women and transformed their lives especially those at grassroots levels,” she said.
Speaking at the same occasion, Zimbabwe Gender Commission chairperson Virginia Muwanigwa urged the government to operationalise the 2013 Constitution.
Acting United Nations resident coordinator Esther Muia called for the inclusion of women into the economic mainstream, citing it as one of the ways of improving gender equality.
“Women are indeed the most vulnerable to the social and economic impact of the crisis.
“Out of five million living below the poverty datum line in Zimbabwe, 70 percent are women. The risk of engaging in negative coping strategies as well as risk of exposure to gender based violence is really increased because of the Zimbabwe multi- hazard context that we are in,” she said.
On behalf of the UN in Zimbabwe, I call upon all of us to ensure that women and girls rights, health and dignity is protected at all times. It must not be an after-thought,” she said.