By Fungai Jachi
ZIMBABWE joined the rest of the world in commemorating International Women’s Day this Tuesday, with women calling for equality to ensure sustainable development.
The 8th of March has become an important day on the women’s calendar having been set aside to celebrate women’s achievements, while also highlighting their challenges.
The setting for this year’s celebrations was perfect with women from diverse backgrounds converging at Harare Gardens for the main event.
Guest of Honour and Deputy Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Honourable Jennifer Mhlanga, highlighted the government’s role in empowering women.
“As a country, we have made some strides in achieving gender equality. Zimbabwe has a robust legal and institutional framework that 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.
United Nations Women representative, Dr Esther Muia applauded the Second Republic for creating opportunities for women.
“I would like to commend Zimbabwe for being instrumental in creating opportunities for women. Progress is being seen in many areas. We continue to push for equality and we call for bias to be broken as gender equality is key in development,” noted Muia.
Another event was held at the Harare International Conference Centre to celebrate Women’s Day, with the Deputy Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, Honourable Tino Machakaire saying his ministry is working round the clock to accelerate gender parity.
“As a ministry, this year is about recognising and empowering women in leadership. We are not leaving behind youngsters in leadership positions, business, sport or arts. Dream big and aspire to go higher as women,” he said.
Female entrepreneurs also got a chance to showcase various wares, with the celebrations being held under the theme: ‘Gender Equality for a Sustainable Tomorrow’, while the national theme is ‘Gender Mainstreaming and Women Empowerment in Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management