AVA Marie DuVernay, American filmmaker, screenwriter, film and television producer, believes women must ignore the glass ceiling if they want to succeed.

“If you are focusing on the glass ceiling, focusing on what you do not have, focusing on the limitations, then you will be limited,” she said.

There are stories of Zimbabwean women who have ignored the glass ceiling to excel in their chosen fields. Divine Ndhlukula led the path in forming one of Zimbabwe’s top security firms, Securico, in a male-dominated industry.

The story of Maud Chifamba stands out after she overcame adversities, enrolled at the University of Zimbabwe and graduated as the youngest student at 18.

These stories should serve as motivation to a young girl in Checheche, Mazvihwa, Fort Rixon, Lupane or Zaka that it is doable and one only needs conviction, determination and boundless enthusiasm.

Charity Mtwazi made history in 2022 when she took over the reins as the first female managing partner of one of the big four auditing firms, Deloitte Zimbabwe, now rebranded Axcentium following the exit of the firm from Deloitte Africa.

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As the world celebrated International Women’s Day on Friday last week, we paid tribute to the multitudes of unnamed women who have led the way and serve as role models for young girls.

Zimbabwe has made strides in promoting gender equality, enacting legislation and being a signatory to international conventions that promote gender equality. These include Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women which came on board in 1991 and the Beijing Declaration on the Platform for Action (1995).

Zimbabwe has crafted laws that promote the rights of women.

Section 17 of the Constitution mandates the State to ensure there is gender balance by promoting the full participation of women in all spheres of the Zimbabwean society based on equality with men.

The section also prescribes the State to take positive measures to rectify gender discrimination and imbalances resulting from past practices and policies.

The section directs the State to ensure that women constitute at least half of the membership of all commissions and other elective and appointed government bodies established by or under the Constitution or an Act of Parliament.

The State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level are directed to implement practical measures to ensure that women have access to resources, including equality with men.

Section 56(2) states that women and men have the right to equal treatment, including the right to equal opportunities in political, economic, cultural and social spheres.

The government has also created a Women’s Bank meant to support women to venture into businesses.

Enforcement of the legislation is key if women are to enjoy the benefits. Despite the existence of the Legal Age of Majority Act which stipulates that any Zimbabwean under the age of 18 is a minor, child marriages are rampant, especially among apostolic sects.

There is also lack of awareness on these rights which behoves the Women’s Affairs ministry and development partners to ramp up efforts so that women are enlightened about their rights.

They should not only make noise every March. This should be a daily occurrence.

We need to walk the talk and implement what is in our laws to ensure there is no discrimination against women and adhere to this year’s campaign theme of #InspireInclusion.