Commissioner Kwanele Muriel Jirira is a Commissioner at the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) where she chairs the Thematic Working Group on Gender Equality and Women’s Rights.
She has over 30 years’ experience working in women’s rights and gender rights activities and has a background in social work and political science. She holds BS and MA degrees from the United States -Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, and Pittsburgh University, Pittsburgh. She also has qualifications in political economy from the New School for Social Research (now New School) in New York City (ABD status). She has received further training in conciliation and mediation and gender auditing from the ILO. Commissioner Jirira is also a gender budgeting trainer. She has trained women parliamentarians and councilors and government finance officers. She has over 24 years of research experience from the Institute of Development Studies/ University of Zimbabwe -1986-2010.
Commissioner Jirira also taught a course on gender and industrial relations/ labour issues at the University of Zimbabwe for over 5 years and is a women’s activist with a passion for women’s empowerment and gender equality. Commissioner Jirira was once a former board member for Women’s University in Africa (WUA). As an academician, Commissioner Jirira has done several consultancies/ networking/ Expert Group/ publications for UNDP (contributed to the Zimbabwe Human Development Report, gender budget training), UNICEF, ILO, UNFPA, UNIDO, UN-Habitat, Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, The Zimbabwe Women’s Resource Centre (ZWRCN), Commonwealth Foundation, Gender links, Municipal Development and Partnership organization, ACBF and ZILGA on various areas such as gender and agriculture, gender and land, gender and education (ZWRCN), gender and local government (Gender links), gender mainstreaming (OSSREA) and gender and trade unions.
Commissioner Jirira has extensively travelled in Africa (Senegal, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa). She has also travelled to Europe (Austria, Italy, Germany, Denmark, United Kingdom), Pacific (Fiji, Sri Lanka and New Zealand) and the Caribbean (Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago). She was also a Commonwealth Fellow (2000). Commissioner Jirira is a published poet and loves poetry and jazz music. She is a mother of two.