ZIMBABWE will today join the rest of the world in commemorating the International Day for Women highlighting women’s achievements with the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development celebrating tremendous efforts made by women in Covid-19 response and recovery efforts.
The ministry, however, pointed out the need to build resilience among women and girls so as to enable them to respond to adverse effects of natural disasters.
This year, the day is being celebrated under the international theme “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world”, while the national theme is “Women’ s rights to decisions making vital in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic”.
Zimbabwe will commemorate the day through a virtual conference aimed at celebrating and increasing visibility of women’s achievements and making nationwide awareness raising through discussions and meaningful narratives to help combat the spread of Covid-19 challenges faced by women.
The commemorations are expected to build strategic collaborations based on a foundation of shared purpose, trust and appreciation to impact positive change for women.
In her message, Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Minister, Dr Sithembiso Nyoni said this year’ s theme celebrated the tremendous efforts by women and girls in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Women leaders and women’ s organisations have demonstrated their skills, knowledge and networks to effectively lead in Covid-19 response and recovery efforts.
“Today there is more acceptance than ever before that women bring different experiences, perspectives, and skills to the table and make irreplaceable contributions to decisions, policies and laws that work better for all,’’ she said.
Dr Nyoni expressed concern over the increase of domestic violence during the Covid-19 induced lockdown.
“The ministry integrates women’ s full and effective participation in the economy and protects women from all forms abuse and violence.
“My ministry and its partners are committed to strengthening protection systems to prevent and respond to all forms of violence against women and girls both in the private and public spheres,” she said.
She emphasised the importance of providing access to various critical services such as psychological, health and legal services under one roof through one-stop centres and mobile one-stop centres around the country.
“Given the recent trend of heavy rains and cyclones that have wreaked havoc in Manicaland, Masvingo and Matabeleland South, there is need to work together to strengthen public and private partnerships building resilience among women and girls through funding and supporting local projects.
“I call upon all stakeholders to join us in this nationwide effort to improve the lives of women, knowing that empowering a woman means empowering a village, empowering a village means empowering communities and therefore empowering the nation,” she said.
The International Day for Women was first celebrated in 1975 during the International Women’s Year and was officially proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1977 and since then it has been commemorated across the world annually.