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‘Women, girls ignorant of their rights’

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The Constitution of Zimbabwe provides for gender balance in decision-making and leadership, but sadly, many women and girls are still unaware of their rights and how to exercise them, activists have noted.

By Phyllis Mbanje

While calls have been made for equitable and equal participation of women in all spheres of life, there is a growing need to train women to understand their rights and put them into practice.

“Such trainings contribute in transforming power relations and promote justice, equality, peace and sustainable development,” said Aziza Abemba, executive director of Women’s Self-Promotion Movement (WSPM).

In most countries of the world, women constitute over 50% of the population and in Zimbabwe, women make up over 52% of the population, but they still lag behind in leadership and decision-making positions.

“If a woman is elected into a leadership position, she is not confident to take it up. Our societies are largely partriachial and so the environment might be intimidating,” Women Action Group executive director Edna Musiiwa said.

Recently, WSPM, in collaboration with Women’s Learning Partnership for Rights, Development and Peace (WLP International), held training for women leaders in government, women’s non-governmental organisations, educationists and professional women from the private sector.

The four-day training, which was officially opened by Harare Metropolitan Province minister Miriam Chikukwa, was aimed at capacity building and to choose a pool of women’s human rights defenders who will lead by example.

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