The Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ), a network of women rights activists and women’s rights organizations joins the world in commemorating International Women’s Day. WCoZ further proclaim the Month of March as Women’s Month for action towards a society where women and girls rights are respected and protected
By Womens Coalition of Zimbawe (WcoZ)
Despite various laws, policies, new constitution, regional and international instruments that Zimbabwe committed to advance women’s rights, the country continues to experience deficits in the full implementation of commitments, allocation of adequate resources and political will to enable a conducive socio-economic and political environment for advancement of the agenda for women and girls to enjoy and assert their rights.
The situation of women continues to deteriorate with the socio, political and economic context continuing to perpetuate the violation of women’s rights with impunity. Statistics show that 83% of women in Zimbabwe are languishing in vulnerable employment made up of own account workers and unpaid contributing family workers (2014 LFCLS).
International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities. As the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe we are calling upon the government and relevant stakeholders to fully implement the gender equality provisions of the Constitution, The National Gender Policy and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDGs 4 and 5 that speak to gender equality, the empowerment of all women and girls and inclusive of quality education for all by 2030.
2017 International Women’s Day focuses on “Women in the Changing World of Work” under the theme “#BeBoldForChange” and its relevance to specific communities across the globe for the attainment of a better working world, a more inclusive, gender equal world. It is imperative for the Zimbabwe context to develop effective strategies to ensure 50/50 gender equality by 2030 in the world of work. By closing gender gaps in labour markets, education, health, and other areas, we can reduce poverty and hunger, improve the nutrition and education of children, and drive inclusive growth.
In Zimbabwe, special attention should be given to recognizing the value of unpaid care work. The labour market continues to have a high inequality dividend because care work in Zimbabwe is not valued and mostly performed by women. Women and girls continue to be marginalised when it comes to education, decent work, equitable wages, and decision-making at all levels of government.
Moreover, space should be provided for women to demand their legal rights and access to basic social services – including safe water and sanitation, and to protection from gender-based violence.
Women around Zimbabwe demand the following in order to achieve the 2030 SDG goal:
- State accountability for its constitutional obligations to the citizens with particular reference to gender balance and equal opportunities
- Quality and affordable primary and secondary education and an environment that is safe for all women and girls
- Recognition of unpaid care work
- Enactment of more comprehensive and effective pieces of legislations that seek to eradicate child marriages in Zimbabwe
- Joint societal effort to end violence against women
- Ease of doing business for wealth creation.
As Zimbabweans let us mark this International Women’s Day by increasing the efforts to make sustainable development a lived reality and leave no woman or girl behind!
The National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO) is the official coordinating umbrella body of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) operating in Zimbabwe. Its aim is to strengthen, represent, and coordinate the work of NGOs in Zimbabwe by creating space dialogue and engagement to enable the fulfilment of members ‘visions and missions. For comments and feedback please reach us through: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The WCoZ is a network of women rights activists and women’s organizations with national structures. The WCoZ is a forum where women meet to engage in collective activism on issues affecting women and girls in Zimbabwe. Its central role is to provide a focal point for activism on women and girl’s rights. WCoZ brings females from diverse backgrounds to collectively advocate for the attainment and enjoyment of their rights. WCoZ is a NANGO member under the Women’s Sector.