‘Acknowledge capacity of women’

While applauding strides that the Zimbabwean government has made in ensuring gender equity, the minister said there was need for serious lobbying for society in general to accept that women were able decision makers. Muchinguri was addressing a press conference in commemoration of International Women’s Day. The theme for this year’s celebration is, “Women in decision- making.” “We all know that the welfare of women is critical for nation building,” she said. “Therefore society should be willing to accept women in decision making positions, as women by and large will champion their interests and those of society in general.” The HIV and Aids pandemic had created a burden and had eroded significant gains made in the economic development of women, she said. The situation could be improved if women and girls were empowered through information on prevention and treatment of HIV and Aids as well as balanced gender power relationships, the minister said. Among notable developments that have shown commitment on the part of the government towards gender and development, is the appointment of the country’s first female Vice President, Joice Mujuru, in December 2004. Women representation in Parliament has increased from 10 percent to 16 percent after last year’s general elections, while a 20 percent quota of land available under the land resettlement programme has been set-aside for women. The International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 every year and was first celebrated in Zimbabwe in 1983. The day seeks to celebrate the achievements and contributions women have made to national and international development. ‘ New Ziana.

March 2006
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