International Women’s Day: Ending Violence against Women and Girls

Zimbabwe celebrated International Women’s Day on 22 March 2013 under a national theme, “Peace begins with me: Peace begins with you: Peace begins with All of us: Act now to end violence against women and girls”. 

Over 300 people including government ministers, co-ministers, deputy ministers, UN Officials, foreign Ambassadors, representatives from women’s organisations, police commissioners, the media and local artists participated.

Launching the International Women’s Day celebrations, Honourable Joyce Mujuru, Vice President of Zimbabwe said, “85% of the things women asked for was incorporated into the new constitution, let’s celebrate because our rights as women are now part of the constitution.”

The UN in Zimbabwe, in a statement delivered by UNHCR Representative, Mr. Marcelin Hepie, commended the Government of Zimbabwe for taking steps to end violence against women and girls through the 4P’s campaign (Prevention, Protection, Participation and Programmes) which is informed by the UN Secretary General’s global UNiTE campaign. Mr. Hepie highlighted UN programme support through the 2012-2015 ZUNDAF aimed at improving gender equality and ending violence against women and girls in Zimbabwe.

The event was characterised by a video presentation on the 4Ps Campaign and a panel discussion which comprised of the Victim Friendly Unit, Men’s Forum to end violence against women, Musasa, and Zimbabwe Women’s Lawyers Association. Questions from guests were entertained by the panel.

The Co- Minister of Home Affairs, Honourable Theresa Makone, pointed out that everyone has a role to play in addressing violence against women and male involvement is crucial.

The event included a performance by local artists amongst whom were the popular Silumani Chimbetu, Bob Nyabinde, Siniper and Albert Nyati. In line with the national IWD theme, musicians performed a song that had everyone on their toes dancing and singing the chorus.

The event ended on a happy note as the Minister of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, Honourable Dr. Olivia N. Muchena recognised and handed presents to female headed families who have been supported to send their children to school and empowered to start-up small businesses.

Read the Statement by the UN Resident Coordinator