World YWCA on Facebook World YWCA on Twitter Women and Young Women Re-energize Zimbabwe's Global Political Agreement

World YWCA
Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - 20:00
Southern Africa
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Reconstruction and Peacebuilding
Initiative Type: 
Conferences & Meetings

“The coming together of Zimbabwean women across their diversities provides a new impetus and bridge for implementation of the Global Political Agreement.” — Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland; president & founding President of Realising Rights

On April 28, 2010, a historic resolution to work across their political divides to accelerate implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) and build a common agenda for women's empowerment was signed in Harare at the much-awaited meeting on Women's Empowerment in the Political and Economic Arena, co-hosted by the Zimbabwean Ministry of Women, Gender and Community Development; the Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration; and the Women's Coalition of Zimbabwe.

The resolution was immediately endorsed by the Women's Parliamentary Caucus of Zimbabwe and was welcomed enthusiastically by women's organisations everywhere.

This dialogue was held during a five-day solidarity visit by a prestigious delegation of African women leaders including Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, General Secretary of the World YWCA, organised by the Women Leaders Intercultural Forum of Realising Rights. The YWCA of Zimbabwe was one of the initiators of the visit and the local association hosted the closing session.

The delegation was received by the women of Zimbabwe and Government leaders, including President Mugabe, Prime Minister Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara.

"The mission's objective is to share experiences in the effective participation and representation of women in the constitution-making and national healing process.

"The mission is also expected to increase support for women's effective participation in politics and decision-making positions in line with the Millennium Development Goals, as well as the Southern African Development Community and African Union protocols on gender equality in preparation for the next elections," explained Dr Utete-Masango, Women's Affairs, Gender and Community Development Secretary.

The delegation had the opportunity to meet with women in rural areas and spoke to advocacy groups, civil society organisations, human rights defenders, young women, the UN country team and the diplomatic community.

Reflecting on the commitment of the country's women in leadership to bring an end to violence, Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda of the World YWCA noted, “It was a high point when the Zimbabwean women political leaders acknowledged to each other that violence against women had occurred and the nation must provide support urgently to survivors, as well as define ways for justice and healing.”

During this visit, two main critical issues were identified:

  1. The constitutional reform process depends on the success of the Global Political Agreement. The delegation highlighted how important it is, therefore, that women fully participate in this process so that their rights are enshrined in the new constitution.
  2. Given the present economic constraints, resources are required to stimulate women's economic activities so as to better position their participation in the economy and development.
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