WOMEN and girls rights organisations under the banner Women Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ) have implored government to create an enabling environment for women to participate in politics and decision-making.

This came out at a recent women, peace and security indaba hosted by WCoZ as part of commemorations to mark International Day of Peace.

International Day of Peace is observed around the world on September 21 and this year’s commemorations were held under the theme End Racism. Build peace.

“The issue of women, peace, and security is premised on the United Nations (UN) Security Resolution 1325’s four major pillars, which are participation, protection, prevention as well as relief, and recovery. We are saying it’s women’s constitutional right to participate in nation-building. Participation is important for sustainable peace,” WCoZ Peace Building and Conflict Resolution Cluster chair Ronah Mugadza said.

“Protecting women and girls from gender-based violence and other forms of violence is critical in creating an enabling environment for women’s participation in politics and decision-making. Women also need resources to recover from disasters so that they are empowered.”

“Where are we as a nation? Yes, the space is opening for women to participate in politics and decision-making. But are we there yet? We have the 50/50, but we are still very far from that. We can’t have peace when there is discrimination and dominance,” Mugadza added.

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She said the toxic political environment in the country was driving away prospective women politicians in Zimbabwe.

Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development ministry chief director Lillian Matsika-Takaendesa said government was committed to supporting the participation of women in peace and security, inclusion, justice and work.

“We are guided by the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security and we also uphold the provision of the legal frameworks, including the Constitution. We are also guided by the National Developmental Strategy whose mantra is leaving no one behind,” she said.