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Zimbabwean contests for top UN position


Harare, (New Ziana) – A Zimbabwe delegation is in New York, United States of America campaigning for the country’s candidate to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) Committee, Eunice Njovana, a Cabinet Minister has said.

The elections will be held this Friday for eleven committee members from twenty contestants globally, five of whom are coming from Africa.

Women Affairs, Community, Small to Medium Enterprise Minister, Monica Mutsangwa told New Ziana on Thursday that the CEDAW is set to hold elections to choose committee members who will steer implementation provisions of the convention from 2025 to 2028.

“Currently Eunice is in New York working on the campaign with the support of the campaign team from my Ministry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, as well as our mission in New York,” she said.

“Participation in the Committee is key for Zimbabwe in that Eunice Njovana will represent the country and the regional body at the apex committee that oversees the implementation of gender equality and women empowerment provisions within the United Nations family. Her participation will ensure that regional and national priorities on women’s issues are brought to the Committee’s discussion table.

“Her campaign efforts are further strengthened by the Southern African Development Committee and the African Union endorsements as the principle of endorsement is highly respected by the member states. We are hoping for a positive outcome.”

Zimbabwe is a member of the CEDAW, which came into effect in 1991 when the country ratified the convention.

Mutsvangwa said Njovana started campaigning from the time of her nomination and the government has been lobbying for her support.

She said the government supported Njovana’s travel to New York in March for the initial physical interaction with missions from CEDAW Member States, allowing her to share her vision with the member states.

Mutsvangwa said the campaign is taking a multi-pronged approach that includes bilateral meetings, hosting of reception meetings, and addressing Member State groupings to reach as many of the Member States as possible.

She said there has been positive feedback from the engagements with the delegates from the Member States.

Mutsvangwa said the competition is stiff and campaigns are intense but Zimbabwe hopes she will prevail during the elections. CEDAW was adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly and is often described as an international bill of rights for women.

It consists of a preamble and 30 articles which define what constitutes discrimination against women and sets up an agenda for national action to end such discrimination.

Njovana has served the cause of women’s rights in Zimbabwe, across Africa, and around the world since 1993.

Among many other achievements, Njovana led the setting up of the first-ever shelter for women suffering from gender-based violence.

Under her leadership, women’s rights organisation Musasa Project collaborated with the Zimbabwe national broadcaster to come up with a groundbreaking television series called Women/Madzimai, which successfully brought out into the public domain, the scourge of gender-based violence in the country.

She chaired the Anti-Domestic Violence Council of Zimbabwe and sat as a Council Member of The Gwanda State University.

Njovana also served as UNIFEM’s (later UN WOMEN) country manager for Zimbabwe, achieving the integration of gender in the National Aids Council, and initiation of a Donor’s Roundtable Forum for development partners funding gender equality and women’s human rights programs.

New Ziana

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