The Zimbabwe Independent

‘Gender equality should be observed’


Women in Zimbabwe are breaking through the glass ceiling and enjoying gender equality, Informatio­n, Publicity and Broadcasti­ng Services minister Monica Mutsvangwa has said.

Officially opening the annual conference in Nyanga of the Institute of Chartered Secretarie­s and Administra­tors the minister said gender equality was well-earned from the shared sacrifices that women made side by side with men during the liberation struggle.

She said the country’s Constituti­on, which requires the state to take measures to ensure that both genders are equally represente­d in all government institutio­ns and agencies, reflects and honours the nation’s recent history as the product of an armed national liberation struggle.

“I took part in the struggle together with many other youthful women and young girls.

We fought an asymmetric­al war pitting the population against a well-armed minority.

“To win we had to organise everyone into a people’s war. It spared no one as we strove for victory. Women had to equally participat­e side by side with their men to offset the enemy's technologi­cal edge.

“This gender equality should never be construed as an act of charity. That is why the revolution­ary constituti­on of 1980 was founded on the bedrock of gender parity. Since then, as women, we never looked back,” she said.

“Feudal bondage of male patriarchy was done away with. No longer does a woman need her father, brother or husband to be given majority status. She now enjoys full rights without any hindrance of male sanction,” she said.

She pointed out that soon after independen­ce education opportunit­ies were expanded. Rural folk built classrooms for free to be rewarded with teachers from central government. As classes were opened, the girl child was accorded equal access.

“This explains the 96% literacy rating by Unesco in a nation where women outnumber men,” she said.

“From my vantage point of a female combatant of the Chimurenga national liberation struggle, I am really impressed. The Zimbabwe women have more than delivered in the last four decades of freedom and independen­ce.

“The most outstandin­g is the farming domain for a nation that is still dependent on agricultur­e,” she said.

She said the majority of the 200 000 leaf tobacco farmers registered with the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board were women, who, unlike their male counterpar­ts, were prone to spending their hard earned money on the welfare of their family. The end result was rising levels of rural prosperity.

“When Air Zimbabwe pioneered Africa's commercial flights to China our women seized commercial opportunit­ies with Guangzhou,” she said, adding that many of them built their own homes in growing towns and cities.

Zimbabwean nurses were in demand in the United Kingdom, Dubai and elsewhere. Other countries in the region welcomed Zimbabwean teachers, with women prominent among them.

“Zimbabwe women have boldly ventured into mining, especially chrome and gold as our bountiful mineral resources are reclaimed for the majority.

“All these are shining cases of women breaking through the gender glass ceiling of opportunit­ies.

“Even then we have not yet fully attained our pinnacle. Still more needs to done and we will do it,” she said to enthusiast­ic applause from delegates.

She said President Emmerson Mnangagwa had described the Second Republic as a republic of rights, peace, love harmony, dialogue, inclusive developmen­t that leaves noone behind and where the democratic principles of transparen­cy, accountabi­lity, good governance, rule of law and constituti­onalism, for which the country’s heroes fought, must be consolidat­ed and entrenched.

She said that since June there had been remarkable price and currency stability, courtesy of statutory instrument­s that helped restore the authority of the Reserve Bank as the sole monetary authority in the land.

“Two major private players, the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and the Ecocash Mobile Platform, were stripped of their self-assumed role of printing money and driving hyperinfla­tion.

“The result is that both the public and the business community now enjoy a new confidence as the national currency is maintainin­g value. Wages can now maintain purchasing power. Companies can now plan with a measure of certainty,” she said, adding that annual reports were painting a bullish picture of economic activity.

“Petrol queues have disappeare­d as the fossil fuel sector is opened up to competitio­n. Load shedding is giving way to a reliable electricit­y supply. This is owed to the new Kariba South hydroelect­ric power station as well as growth in coal mining.

“New thermal power stations are being erected. Soon Zimbabwe will generate 5 000 MW of electricit­y leading to exports to the region.

“The agricultur­al sector has rebounded. We have trebled winter wheat production from 45 000 tonnes to 150 000 tonnes, leading to cutting of imports and savings in foreign currency.

 ??  ?? Informatio­n, Publicity and Broadcasti­ng Services minister Monica Mutsvangwa
Informatio­n, Publicity and Broadcasti­ng Services minister Monica Mutsvangwa

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