S(HE) Matters supports women and youth, especially in marginalized communities. They make up a significant percentage of Zimbabwe’s population, yet their presence in leadership, governance, and decision-making spaces is minimal.

The program aims to empower diverse women and youth with the resources and opportunities to improve their socio-economic position and participate effectively in governance processes in Zimbabwe.

Why it’s important to empower women and youth

Although Zimbabwe’s legal, policy and institutional frameworks enshrine the rights of women and youth, many barriers prevent them from exercising them. For example, inadequate administrative capacities, sexual and gender-based violence, economic exclusion, patriarchal norms, and gendered social roles. These barriers continue to block gender equality and participation in leadership, governance, and decision-making. Women in Zimbabwe constitute an estimated 52%, and youth 67.7% of the population, yet their participation in leadership and governance lags far behind.

How we’re supporting women and youth voices

S(HE) Matters, implemented by Hivos and four key partners, employs an array of strategies to empower women and young people to claim their rights and overcome past inequalities. They include capacity strengthening for local NGOs, advocacy and influencing policy change, multi-actor initiatives and collaborations, and mobilizing activists and leaders to create lasting change.



Period and budget

2023 – 2024, € 300 000


Institute for Young Women’s Development (IWYD), General Agriculture and Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ), Gender Media Connect (GMC) and the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development.


Embassy of Ireland in Pretoria