Ruth Butaumocho Gender Editor
President Mnangagwa is today expected to meet women at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) to discuss issues affecting them.
According to one of the organisers, the women would be drawn from all the country’s 10 provinces.
The meeting, which comes hard on the heels of several other gatherings that the President has been addressing over the past few weeks, is expected to afford women an opportunity to air their grievances to President Mnangagwa on various issues, while supporting his endeavour to grow the economy.
“As women constitute a huge chunk of our population, they thus can equally play an important role in our politics, economy and policy making. The emancipation of everyone including women has been at the core of President Mnangagwa’s objective in the new dispensation.”
Professor Charity Manyeruke added that the decision by President Mnangagwa to launch the Women’s Bank was an indication of his commitment towards women’s empowerment.
“The President has also championed and presided over many women’s projects. Women, however, still encounter some problems that the President is not knowledgeable of,” she said.
“This is a chance for all women in Zimbabwe to meet and say out our challenges to the President as this will be the last gathering that he will address before elections.”
Women, who constitute 52 percent of the population, play a crucial role in economic development as attested by their involvement in the small to medium enterprises sector, where the majority are currently absorbed.
However, despite their commitment in economic development women continue to face many challenges, mainly, lack of capital to finance their entrepreneurial projects since most of them do not have collateral to enable them to borrow money from the banks.
Seized by the economic challenges faced by women, the Government has been working on several empowerment initiatives to ensure that women get a stake in economic development in the country, with the opening of the Women’s Bank, being one of them.
The first of its kind in the Sadc region, the bank will offer loans to women, youths and other small-scale businesses.
The setting up of the Women’s Bank is consistent with the provisions of the Constitution in promoting inclusivity of women and gender mainstreaming in all development programmes in Zimbabwe.