Source: The Herald
ACTING President Joice Mujuru has called for concerted efforts in uplifting women as they are key in contributing to economic growth and sustainable development in Zimbabwe.

Officially opening a 50/50 strategic meeting in Harare yesterday, Acting President Mujuru said gender justice and gender balance was key in the development of any country.

"The discrepancies of women represented in various institutions call for more concerted efforts in uplifting the women's cause. Hence, the 50/50 strategy is critical in attaining gender equality in itself and is a pre-requisite of sustainable development," she said.

The Acting President noted that it had been proven that if women are represented in big numbers in economic ventures such as agriculture and textile, economic growth increases and poverty is visibly reduced.

"Politically, women and men exercise power differently. Having more women in decision making bodies means value addition and qualitative differences in the process and product of the decisions made," she said.

Socially, she said, women through other various roles have organisational, managerial and peace building skills.

"If these are enhanced and applied in the political arena, Zimbabwe can be and will benefit immensely. Even in the Bible we have women like Esther, Deborah and many others who successfully combined their social and political skills for the benefit of their nations," she said.

She said even when women bring their unique contribution to politics in their big numbers, Zimbabwe can achieve gender justice and gender balance.

"In our quest for justice and balance, emphasis should also be on quality and effective representation. In the process we should ensure sustainable and continued support to all women as opposed to the 'I an in, close the door' syndrome."

She said the 50/50 idea included young women for interrogation growth, cross fertilisation and passing on the baton.

"We are told that at least 60 percent of our voters are below 40 years. Suppose 30 percent of our 50 percent is in this age group, what transformation would it bring to women's movements and our political system."

She said it was critical to involve the women wings of political parties in pure and constructive discussions.

"I was elected Vice President of Zanu-PF because the Women's League fought for a party constitution provision of one in every three positions to be occupied by a woman. Now we are going 50/50. Thus, political parties and women's wings are key in the embracing and implementing of any strategy," she said.

Acting President Mujuru said educational and economic empowerment was essential for a confidence and effective participation of women.

"My passion is for women to be empowered from household levels s that they can be recognised as people of value both at home and outside the home," she said.

She said Zimbabwe should take the current constitutional making process to trailblaze, achieve the African union and Sadc Gender and Development Protocol on 50/50.

Zimbabwe was successful in implementing the 50/50, which has been demonstrated at the presidency, premiership and Parliament levels where there is a female deputy speaker of the House of Assembly and female president of the Senate.

She said in the Public Service Commission at least 67 percent of the commissioners were women. Minister of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, Dr Olivia Muchena also presented a proposals on the means and ways of operationalising ideas and strategies of 50/50.

The meeting was attended by Labour and Social Services Minister Paurina Mpariwa, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga, Senate president Edna Madzongwe, Women's Affairs, Gender and Community Development Deputy Minister Jessie Majome, secretary Dr Silvia Utete-Masango, senior government officials, uniformed forces, UNDP representative and civil society among others.


Acting President Joice Mujuru shakes hands with the president of the Senate Edna Madzongwe after officially opening a 50/50 strategy meeting in Harare yesterday.

Go to top