Walter Nyamukondiwa Mashonaland West Bureau
WOMEN have been challenged to exploit opportunities that exist in the economy and empower themselves.

Speaking at elections to fill up positions in the Women in Tourism Mashonaland West provincial chapter in Chinhoyi recently, director in the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Mrs Gladys Chinyerere, said women must contribute to the success of tourism in the country.

“We have about 73 percent of women employed in the tourism sector and its value chain. Despite the high number, women occupy lower positions.

“Women must rise and compete at the top levels so that we are involved in decision making. Government is saying women are capable and that is why you see its policies recognise the importance of women,” said Mrs Chinyerere.

Mashonaland West acting provincial administrator Mr Amigo Mhlanga said the establishment of the Women in Tourism structures was a noble initiative to harness the potential in women.

“As a nation we need to create opportunities to unlock women’s potential to exploit both in social and economic cycles,” said Mr Mhlanga.

“As Mashonaland West, we are excited about the setting up of these chapters as they seek to ensure women play a meaningful role in the country’s economy,” said Mr Mhlanga.

He said such structures ensure the involvement and empowerment of women in an organised manner.

Women elected businesswoman Idah Kamushinda as the chairperson of Women in Tourism Mashonaland West provincial chapter.

The committee will spearhead the participation of women in the tourism sector.

Mrs Kamushinda garnered 89 votes.

Mrs Linda Sauramba was elected vice chairperson after getting 52 votes.

Other members of the committee include Ms Abigail Gava (Secretary), Hope Masomere (vice secretary) and Ms Stancia Zhou (treasurer). The positions were distributed evenly among all the province’s seven districts.

Mrs Kamushinda said she passion to see women empowered and play a meaningful role in the economy.

“My greatest desire is to see an empowered women who is able to fend for her family,” she said.

Mrs Sauramba said she was a servant leader.

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