Zim to continue fighting gender inequality: President

By Janet Munyaka

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has reiterated his administration’s commitment to the achievement of gender equality in the country.

Since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and its platform of action, Zimbabwe has made remarkable progress in the areas of gender equality and women empowerment.

This Thursday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa addressed a High-level meeting to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women, held on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly.

The President highlighted various measures adopted by his administration to address the challenges of gender inequality.

“This occasion reminds us of the need to constantly review our global commitments with regards to the achievement of gender equality and equity. The social-economic conditions imposed by COVID-19, natural disasters and in particular the illegal sanctions in the case of my country have sadly reversed some of the gains achieved towards women empowerment in developing countries.

“There is therefore a need for corresponding intervention to reverse this trend for the speedy implementation of the Beijing declaration, its platform of action and the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. My administration continues to enact progressive legislation which outlaws the oppression of women across the socio-economic sectors.

“The establishment of dedicated institutions and facilities such as the women’s microfinance bank, the women’s fund, women in mining service centres and the Zimbabwe Gender Commission among others have also helped in promoting women’s rights and their participation in the Zimbabwean economy. Women in the small to medium enterprise sector have also benefited from the economic stimulus package my administration availed following the outbreak of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said President Mnangagwa.

The Zimbabwean government has come up with concrete action plans and commitment to accelerate the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women with particular focus on areas like agriculture that form the basis of the country’s economy.

“Agriculture is the mainstay of our economy and women constitute the significant proportion of the sector. We, therefore, continue to promote women-centred agro-processing and value addition initiatives in the agriculture sector with a focus on women in export markets. The implementation of policies and programmes to improve access to education and health for women and girls are ongoing.

“My country has deliberately used the national budget as a tool to provide access to sanitary wear as well as sexual and reproductive health for girls in schools and women in general. The importance of science and innovation technology cannot be overemphasized. My government has prioritised the impartation of these skills to girls and women in our national development agenda which leaves no one behind.

“Under my leadership, my administration is facilitating the participation of women in politics, leadership and decision-making processes. More women have been appointed into the cabinet and other senior positions in the public sector. Zimbabwe remains committed to achieving gender equality and the empowerment of girls and women and looks forward to greater synergies with partners to achieve this noble objective.”

The 25th anniversary of the Beijing Conference makes 2020 a milestone year for gender equality.

Indeed, there have been advances in women and girls rights since the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action.

There are now more girls in school than ever before, fewer women are dying during childbirth, and the proportional representation of women in parliament has doubled across the world.