The economic empowerment of women remains a priority of the inclusive government as it is a key step towards eliminating gender based violence, Minister of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development Olivia Muchena has said.
In a speech read on her behalf by Rita Mutinhiri the director of Women Affairs at the graduation ceremony of 70 women who underwent training, Muchena said economic empowerment spreads beyond the individual woman.
“It is important to note that the empowerment of women is a step towards eliminating gender- based violence in our nation,” said Mutinhiri.
The Women’s Self-Promotion Movement (WSPM) is a registered non-profit-making trust founded by a group of women from various countries in the region.
Aziza Abemba the executive director of WSPM said the perpetuation of traditional practices continue to entrench unequal opportunities between men and women in access to, ownership and control of economic, social and physical resources.
She said such practices resulted in women being dependent on men for survival.
“Unfortunately, this dependability encourages men to view women as economic and social instruments, thus making women powerless in the face of forced marriages, domestic violence, coercion, sexualised gender abuse, hunger, promiscuous partners and general women’s rights abuses,” said Abemba.
She said despite significant improvements since the formation of the inclusive government there is still rampant poverty, unemployment and suffering among the majority of the ordinary population and women in particular.
Abemba said there was need for various stakeholders to play their role in complementing government efforts of promoting socio-economic stability and prosperity, peace, rule of law, human rights, and women empowerment.
WSPM seeks to nurture the organisational development of grassroots women organisations located in the southern, central and eastern African regions.
WSPM last week issued certificates to women after successfully completed a series of vocational life skills training programmes in interior décor, project management, marketing, and bookkeeping.
Poverty alleviation and women’s empowerment are seen as inherently synergistic.
The assumption is that increasing women’s access to microfinance will enable women to make a greater contribution to household income.