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EU funds programme to promote women political participation

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BY GARY GERALD MTOMBENI
THE European Union (EU) will for the next two and half years fund a programme to promote youth and women political participation in Zimbabwe.

The programme launched on Friday is coordinated by Hivos, Gender Links, Youth Empowerment and Transformation Trust (YETT) and Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ).

Speaking at the launch, Hivos Southern Africa regional director, Kennedy Mugochim said; “Using a rights based approach, the project seeks to firstly, improve the capacity of women and youth to participate and influence policy dialogue and constitutional implementation, economic empowerment and women peace and security.

“Secondly, to strengthen the roles and capacitate women and wouth to drive accountability and decision making processes at the local and national levels.”

Head of EU Delegation to Zimbabwe, Frank Porte said women political participation in Zimbabwe remains low despite an increase in the number of female legislators and councillors.

“Women and youth make up the majority of the population of Zimbabwe and they should participate equally in the public and private sphere to achieve a functioning democracy and economy,” Porte said.

Women’s Affairs, Small and Medium Enterprises ministry permanent secretary Moses Mhike gender equality as well as empowerment of the youth was critical for sustainable development.

“As the Ministry, we stand ready to render our support in any way this Women and Youth Inclusion for Equality(WYI4E) initiative…to address  negative perceptions of women which are often fuelled by traditional and patriarchal cultural  attitudes and practices,” Mhike said.

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