Gender Equality and the work towards its attainment worldwide has been a bitter sweet journey. Brave women and men have stood up against partriachy and the numerous societal bariers that have impeded equal participation. Sadly for many decades after the movement to attain gender equality started, the fruits of this struggle are still a dream. Gender equality remains a battle won on paper but not in action.
It is in appreciation of these efforts and in acknowledgement of the work still to be done that we celebrate Women’s Day. The 8th of March gives the world a day to stop and reflect on the rights of women and what efforts have been done towards attaining gender equality.
This year Hivos and its partners under the Women Empowered for Leadership (WE4L) program have collaborated with strategic partners to join the world on work under the banner of the 50-50 Campaign through the launch of a local Advocacy Campaign. The 50-50 Advocacy Campaign is a collaborative and consolidated equality campaign for the 2018 elections which brings together the entire Gender Machinery of Zimbabwe to advocate and consolidate efforts to secure the rights of women both in policy and in practise.
The launch, through a conference, seeks to ensure that the Ministry of Women and Youth Affairs, the Women and Youth Affairs Parliamentary Portfolio Committee, the Zimbabwe Women’s Parliamentary Caucus, the Zimbabwe Gender Commission, the Zimbabwe Local Government Association, the Women in Local Government Forum, the Chapter 12 Institutions, Hivos WE4L program and its partners, the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe and its respective members including other Civil Society organisations, engage on high level dialogues and maintain momentum towards achieving 50-50. As Zimbabwe’s 2018 elections approach we seek to ensure that the active election cycle does not drown the fight for equality for women and girls in Zimbabwe. The conference will be held on the 6th of March a day which falls within the week of the International Women’s Day.
The discussions to be held, seek to ensure that the issue of women and the women’s rights agenda in the 2018 elections are at the centre stage bringing together issues of equal representation, substantive equality and peace as a core element in the road to the 2018 elections as highlighted in Section 56 and 17 of the Zimbabwean constitution as well as by International aggreeements that Zimbabwe has signed. We seek to keep high in the public and political agenda the rights of women and girls.