Promoting women's rights is promotion of development; Women's Coalition


By Lungile Moyo

Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ), Bulawayo Chapter recently urged civil society organisations and society at large to promote women’s rights in all their works as a way of improving women’s participation in economic, political, social and cultural sectors. 

A multi-stakeholder meeting, organised by WCoZ, at Brethren in Christ Church conference room in Bulawayo, deliberated on section 17, 56 and 80 of the Zimbabwe constitution which talks about equal representation of men and women in roles and responsibilities, equality and non- discrimination and rights of women.

Rejoice Takawira who is a life coach and was a guest speaker at the meeting probed the reasons for lack of participation of women in leadership positions. 

She noted that lack of confidence, experience, knowledge and traditional upbringing are some of the main issues greatly affecting women’s’ performance when they are placed in leadership positions.

WCoZ secretary, Mrs Marble Moyo said that all laws, traditions, cultural practices should not infringe on women’s rights.

Mr Mhlaseli Sibangani Mpofu a Development Consultant from DP Foundation said promotion of women in every sector should be appreciated as a development issue and that women should be capacitated to lead from the front. 

“Preferment of women should be seen as a development issue and deliberate policies in support of women”, said Mpofu. 

Mpofu encouraged stakeholders to advocate for the institutionalisation of women’s rights and that women need to own properties, businesses, industrial land and secure their lives. 

“Women should be duty bearers in their walks of life within organisations and they need to be groomed and mentored to be in leadership positions”, he said.

WCoZ chairperson, Mrs Mildred Sandi, who is also DP Foundation director, urged civil society organisations and society at large to implement leave no one behind programs that will include everyone in society so that everyone may be aware of women’s rights. 

Speaking during the meeting Petronella Tshuma, the Chairperson for Young Women’s Forum a segment under WCoZ, said the meeting aimed at analysing the current status of women’s participation in development activities especially in politics so as to create a platform for raising awareness to the duty bearers on levels of participation of women in governance and electoral processes and to reflect on women’s participation in the recently held 2018 harmonised election and mechanism in place to support women. 

“The campaign focus is to provide civic education for women on Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe’s governance participation options and opportunities and mobilise them to participate, lobby and advocate for equal participation in governance processes”, said Tshuma.

WCoZ, is a network of women’s rights activists and women’s rights organisation in Zimbabwe with structures in country’s 10 provinces. It is implementing the ‘Strengthening Women’s Advocacy for Inclusive Governance, (SWAG)’ campaign. 

This campaign seeks to increase women’s participation in governance and electoral processes at local and national governance processes in Zimbabwe.