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Push for women emancipation gathers steam in Zimbabwe

The event was supported by the Women Affairs Community Small to Medium Enterprises Development ministry as well as the chairperson for Zaka Rural District Council, among other stakeholders.

THE drive for gender justice and equality has remained an important component of development work in Zimbabwe with both government and other development workers pushing the women emancipation narrative.

Despite years of social exclusion for women, various efforts have been made to date with a view to promote women empowerment and gender parity.

It is, therefore, encouraging that we have seen men becoming partners in the quest for women emancipation as seen by the various men led organisations that are pushing the gender equality narrative. 

Rock 'n' Roll Generation, an organisation designed to fight for social justice through various community development initiatives recently commemorated International Women’s Day where various topics towards women emancipation were discussed.

The event was supported by the Women Affairs Community Small to Medium Enterprises Development ministry as well as the chairperson for Zaka Rural District Council, among other stakeholders.

Rock 'n' Roll Generation director Beauty Kujinga said they were encouraged by the unity of purpose towards entrenchment of gender equality and justice.

“We are happy to have joined the entire Zimbabwe and the world through organising an International Women's Day commemorations in partnership with the Ministry of Women Affairs in Masvingo province at Hippo Creek Resort,” she said.

“We had a joyous day and the programme that we initiated was a success, thanks to highly educational presentations that had to do with women in various sectors of life.”

One of the guests at the event was Chaplain Shumba from the police's Criminal Investigation Department, Masvingo whose presentation focussed on women and substance abuse.

“Chaplain Shumba emphasised that abuse of substances and drugs have detrimental life threatening effects to women,” Kujinga said.

“He made it crystal clear that you can't raise a proper family when you abuse drugs and substances and he also touched on the negative effects of skin-lightening creams as well as butt and breasts enhancers.”

Emma Hurumidza from Ndarama High School emphasised the need for institutions to invest in women empowerment.

“As we continue pushing for women emancipation, all institutions and stakeholders must invest much into women's affairs in order to accelerate progress,” she said.

“Women are responsible people who handle various components at household level.

“They even carry out multiple tasks; hence there is no doubt that they are responsible enough to accelerate progress.”

Other stakeholders at the event included Fin Access Trust representative Victor Charumbira, who called for a legislative framework to empower women.

"There must be a legislative framework which embodies the financial inclusion for women,” Charumbira said.

“Women should introduce more income generating projects, which must contribute positively to our economic growth and gross domestic product.

“With support from the Ministry of Women Affairs, women can appeal to the government for assistance financially.

“The government wishes to empower women and youths through loans and financial grants provided there are already established feasible projects at play.”

Charumbira encouraged women to formalise their business and pursue leadership roles and ownership of assets.

Mary Sibanda, a somatologist, spoke on the need for self-care among women.

“As we continue advocating for women empowerment, self-care is also important and it begins with self-respect,” Sibanda said.

“We should take care of ourselves by living a healthy lifestyle.

“Setting your own standards of living is of paramount importance.

“Being hygienic, stress free, spending time with family, exercising and eating good diet are very important aspects that should be considered by all women who wish to take care of themselves.”

The event was graced by Zaka Rural District Council chairperson Fungai Chiduwa and the wife of Masvingo Resident Minister Ezra Chadzamira who led a panel discussion on personal and community empowerment.

Kujinga said her organisation was looking forward to more similar engagements whose thrust was to motivate women and girls.

“Women have been victims of sexism and feminism across the world and for long they were regarded as the weaker sex and slaves for men,” she said.

Men have also been taught about the importance of women empowerment as a vehicle for community and national development.

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