Women’s Day Celebrated with Message on “Equality for Women is Progress for All”

With song, dance and drama, over 1000 Zimbabweans from all walks of life assembled at Harare International Conference Centre to Commemorate the International Women’s Day, underlining the country’s commitment to improving the status of women. This year’s commemoration was held under the theme “Celebrating Women’s Gains through Constitutional Provisions”, to highlight the need to promote women’s participation in political, social and economic spheres in Zimbabwe.IMG_4622_0.jpg

“We must ensure that the girl child is treated in the same way as the boy child. Under the Presidential Scholarship, women from each and every province have gone to university and it has come back with beautiful yields,” explained President Robert Mugabe in a speech that touched on a number of important topics such as Gender Based Violence, equal pay, women in the economy, maternal health and education for all.

 The President  went on to say that in this region “Zimbabwe is known to have the most enterprising women and that girls must continue to be encouraged to go to school to take up positions of influence, and though great gains have been made, there are still more that need to come”.

In his preface to the President’s address, the UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Alain Noudehou stressed the importance of ensuring that systems and policies are in place for women’s success. “The new Constitution contains strong gender equality and women’s rights provisions. The Bill of Rights includes a specific section on women’s rights, gender equality is within the Founding Values, and a gender commission to protect and monitor women’s rights gains was established” he said, adding that this is in line perfectly with the MDGs, which “the UN and Government are working to achieve in Zimbabwe.”

The highlight of the event was a session that featured heart-rending testimonies from young survivors of Gender Based Violence. 

In his message on International Women’s Day, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon said, “We are highlighting the importance of achieving equality for women and girls not simply because it is a matter of fairness and fundamental human rights, but because progress in so many other areas depends on it.”

The event, attended by senior representatives from the Government led by  the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development, Ms. Oppah Muchinguri. Members of the Diplomatic Corps, the UN, Civil Society, and the Press were also present.