Women in Zimbabwe must be bold and claim their rightful place in driving the country’s economy to prosperity as enunciated in Government’s Vision 2030, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said on Friday.
Opening the annual conference to the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators in Zimbabwe (ICSAZ) in Nyanga, Minister Mutsvangwa gave a keynote address anchored on “breaking the glass ceiling; positioning women for leadership in governance and accounting in the new normal”.
This year’s conference, which ran under the theme; “transforming governance and accounting for a new normal”, also saw the launch of the Women in Governance and Accounting initiative.
The Constitution requires that the State must take all measures to ensure that both genders are equally represented in all institutions and agencies of Government.
Minister Mutsvangwa said Government had shown commitment to achieving gender equality by ratifying a number of gender-related international and regional protocols and highlighted the important role women have taken up in all sectors of the economy over the past decades.
“The Zimbabwean women have more than delivered in the last four decades of freedom and independence,” she said.
“The most outstanding is the farming domain for a nation that is still dependent on agriculture.”
Up to US$600 million was being disbursed annually to nearly 200 000 tobacco farmers registered with the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board and the majority are women.
“Even sweeter, they are prone to spend their hard-earned on the welfare of the family compared to their men counterparts,” she said.
“The end result is rising levels of rural prosperity. Women have also boldly ventured into mining, especially chrome and gold, as our bountiful mineral resources are reclaimed for the majority. All these are shining cases of women breaking through the gender glass ceiling of opportunities.”
Minister Mutsvangwa said despite all these achievements, women were yet to fully reach the pinnacle of their potential in the economic prosperity matrix.
The accounting and governance profession was at the forefront in the fight for gender positive developments in the domain of corporate governance and encouraged ICSAZ members to strive to instil enforceable and tangible measures for gender equality.
“This gender equality should never be construed as an act of charity,” said Minister Mutsvangwa. “Do not leave such a pivotal tool of social equality, such a vital tool of social progress, to the vagaries of chance.”
ICSAZ president Mr Taona Munzvandi said this year’s conference was buttressing the role of women in the governance and accounting professions and sought to come up with strategies on how corporates can effectively deliver on Vision 2030 targets.
“We have looked at how corporate boards are performing and their role in terms of good corporate governance and how effective they are to deliver the Vision 2030 as enunciated by President Mnangagwa,” he said.
“We have put in place strategies in that regard. A thriving economy is based on good corporate governance and without it, there is no accountability or responsibility.”