‘Men are key in promoting gender equality’


THE United Nations Women yesterday urged men to play a leading role in promoting gender equality and empowerment as the world commemorated International Women’s Day (IWD).

Speaking during a #HeForShe impact summit for members of the diplomatic community in Harare, UN Women representative Delphine Serumaga said men’s voices were important in the fight against gender inequality.

“We have to celebrate women. We are here to make sure that we understand their importance as well as having men as voices to make sure that there is equality and opening of spaces,” she said.

British embassy representative Giles Enticknap said #HeForShe members had a role to play in ending gender-based violence.

World Bank financial specialist Crispen Mawadza, who chaired a discussion on financial inclusion of women, said there was need to support women in agriculture through finance.

In another event to commemorate IWD, Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development deputy minister Jennifer Mhlanga said there was need to protect women from the impacts of climate change.

“The difference between men and women’s interaction with the environment and natural resources implies that their vulnerabilities differ. It is, therefore, imperative to make gender considerations in climate change, disaster risk reduction and environment conservation strategies.

“It is imperative that we economically empower women and girls as a sustainable way to achieve gender equality and this can be achieved through various empowerment programmes that my ministry and partners provide, such as access to finance and markets, capacity building, provision of technology and workspace, among others,” Mhlanga said.

In a statement yesterday, Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn) chairperson Andrew Makoni said the gender biases and stereotypes impacted negatively women’s participation in leadership and elections.

ZimRights echoed similar sentiments, saying women constitute 52% of the Zimbabwean population, but only 31% of them were parliamentarians, 30% were in Cabinet, 29% hold influential positions in private entities, while a paltry 14% were councillors.

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