The parliament of Zimbabwe in partnership with the United Nations agency for Women, Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Small and Medium Enterprise Development, Irish embassy and CSO’s this week launched a handbook for parliamentarians to better inform them on dealing with women issues.
“Mr Speaker Sir, ladies and gentlemen, the issue of child marriages was and still remains a challenge for Zimbabwe, again owing to cultural and religious beliefs. Pockets of resistance to government’s efforts towards gender equality remain in certain sections of our society.” The Minister of Defense Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri said in a speech read in her behalf by Permanent Secretary Aaron Nhepera.
The United Nations agency for Women Country Representative, Fatou emphasised the relationship between peace and gender equality while calling for the use of the handbook in fostering the United Nations goal of equality, inclusion and strengthening the role of women.
The Speaker of Parliament urged Africa in general and Zimbabwe in particular to learn from Rwanda which had lifted itself from the genocide of 1994 and had developed an inclusive parliament dominated by women who constituted around 60% of positions while calling for the translation of the handbook to all fourteen local languages.
Ambassador Rudo Chitiga emphasised the role the handbook had in strengthening government efforts in guaranteeing gender equality through existent national frameworks, and norminal frameworks across Ministry’s that strengthen the role of women in fostering peace and security.
Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe Director Muchanyara Mukamuri commended the current positive atmosphere in improving the plight of women as the week had seen an inaugural multi party dialogue, launch of strategy for women in leadership and the handbook.
The Minister of Women Affairs and Small and Medium Enterprise Development, Sthembiso Nyoni commended development partners and CSO’S for complementing government efforts to improve the social and economic position of women.
The handbook is a broader follow up to the October 2000 adoption of the United Nations Security Council and General Council Resolution 13:25 which called fot equality, inclusivity without consideration of gender variation.