ZIMBABWE: Recognise Women's Role - Khupe

Friday, February 12, 2010
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Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe has challenged policymakers to recognise women's role in economic development and move away from the patriarchal habit of looking at them as mere housewives.

Speaking at the end of the two-day National Constitutional Conference on Women and Land in Harare yesterday, DPM Khupe said women owned only 1 percent of assets in Africa despite their economic contributions.

"We need a paradigm shift from a male-dominated economic mantra to an inclusive and transformational nation- building approach that can be enshrined in our people-driven constitution," DPM Khupe said.
She urged women to take advantage of the ongoing constitution-making process to aggressively advocate appropriate policies regarding their access to land and the provision of farming inputs.
DPM Khupe said the new constitution should be sensitive and inclusive of women's needs and concerns.

"Zimbabwe has in the past acceded to a number of regional and international instruments that support gender equity and economic development such as the International Convention on Economic Social and Cultural Rights of 1991 and the 2008 Sadc Protocol on Gender and Development.

"The Sadc Protocol on Gender speaks the fact that there is need to review, amend and/or repeal all discriminatory laws and abolish the minority status of women," she said.

In a statement read on his behalf by the acting director for resettlement, Mrs Kundai Makuku, Lands Minister Herbert Murerwa said Government supported women's empower- ment.
"We are committed to working with women's organisations to improve women's socio-economic and political status through results-based programmes," Minister Murerwa said