Reflecting on Gender Equality: Celebrating International Women’s Day with Development Partners in Zimbabwe

UN Women in Zimbabwe hosted members of the diplomatic corps and their spouses, Representatives of Government and the United Nations including the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator’s Office to an International Women’s Day Reception and Panel Discussion focusing on Investing in Women and Accelerating progress. The event, held in Harare served as a multi-stakeholder platform for key partners to reflect, cross-share insights and make a joint clarion call for increased investments towards Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Zimbabwe.

In her opening remarks, the UN Women Country Representative Ms. Fatou Lo highlighted the importance of making women’s voices heard and having women at the decision-making table across sectors and platforms. On the same note, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Edward Kallon, called on all stakeholders to Invest strategically: by allocating resources to programmes that empower women economically, socially, and politically; Leverage Data: by utilizing gender-disaggregated data for informed decision-making on Gender; Promote Inclusive Finance: by ensuring that women have access to financial services, credit, and entrepreneurship opportunities and; Amplify Voices: by engaging men and boys as allies in the pursuit of gender equality. The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator also acknowledged the uneven progress on SDG goal 5 and other gender related targets which show that there still a long way to go for the country in fulfilling its commitment to women and girls.

The European Union Ambassador and Chairman of the #HeForShe solidarity Movement in Zimbabwe, His Excellency Jobst von Kirchmann, emphasized the critical role of women in shaping societies and economies. He underscored the EU’s unwavering commitment to supporting initiatives that promote gender equality, both within Zimbabwe and globally with the Spotlight Initiative being one of the signature interventions implemented towards this cause.

On behalf of the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, the Acting Permanent Secretary, Engineer Francis Gondo reiterated Government’s commitment to investing in women and investing in a collective future. He also highlighted the need for targeted investments in education, healthcare, and economic opportunities for women and called upon all stakeholders to collaborate in accelerating progress toward gender equality in Zimbabwe.

A key highlight during the International Women’s Day Reception was the highly inspirational panel discussion that saw female Ambassadors sharing their leadership journeys and discussing strategies for increasing investments in gender equality and women’s empowerment in Zimbabwe. Some of the key messages that emerged from the conversation include the importance of deepening multi-stakeholder collaborations and the need for Government of Zimbabwe to continue heightening efforts towards improving fiscal space for gender equality and women’s empowerment and complimenting external investments where possible.

The International Women’s Day Reception served as a powerful call to action and vivid reminder that progress begins with collective action. By investing in women, we invest in a brighter future for all. As Zimbabwe moves forward, the echoes of message will resonate, inspiring change-makers to champion the cause of gender equality and make deliberate efforts to INVEST IN WOMEN.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of UN Women – Africa.

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