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Today, the 8th of March is International Women’s Day. This is a day set aside annually since 1975 to celebrate women’s achievements and to reflect on progress made by women in all spheres of life.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) joins the nation and the rest of the World in celebrating the progress made towards the realisation of the rights of women and girls to date.

The Global theme for this year’s commemorations is “Make it Happen”. The themeadvocates for more effectiveaction for advancing and recognising women. It also calls for greater action to achieve gender equality in the political, economic and social spheres.

The Zimbabwe country theme is ‘Beijing +20The journey towards women empowerment in Zimbabwe: Successes and Challenges.’ The year 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action, hence the theme ‘Beijing +20’.

The theme calls for all stakeholders to reflect and review the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action, 20 years after its adoption and consider opportunities for strengthening gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in the post-2015 development agenda.

The Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action, is an agenda for women’s empowerment which was approved in September 1995 at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China. It is a global commitment to achieving equality, development and peace for women worldwide.

As a country, Zimbabwe has made remarkable progress in the area of gender equality and women empowerment. The Constitution of Zimbabwe (Amendment 20: Act 2013) has clear provisions that promote gender equality, address past gender imbalances and promote the rights of women.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission commends the Government of Zimbabwe for the measures it has taken to uphold the rights of women in recognition of the fundamental fact that Women’s rights are human rights.

However, although strides have been made, challenges still remain. The government is still in the process of aligning laws to the new Constitution including setting up institutions such as the Gender Commission to ensure gains provided for in the Constitution become a reality. Further challenges still exist in the manner in which public and private institutions handle issues of gender equality in daily practice: for instance, the Judicial Service Commission recently appointed an all-male bench of four judges to the Electoral Court, giving an impression that female judges do not qualify or are unsuitable to such appointments.

Theglobal economic recession has also negatively impacted the global gender equality agenda as reduced funding has affected gender equality and women’s empowerment initiatives. The focus on development aid is now more targeted at governance issues at the expense of social and economic rights.

ZHRC Sponsored Radio Talk Shows

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission will host three live radio talk shows on the radio stations listed below. The Commission strongly encourages members of the public to listen-in and participate by making contributions to the debates that will focus on promoting women’s rights and gender equality and the role of the Commission.

DATE TIME STATION
Monday, 9 March, 2015 1130 – 1200 Hrs Radio Zimbabwe
Tuesday, 10 March, 2015 1030 – 1100 Hrs Star FM
Wednesday, 11 March, 2015 1830 – 1900 Hrs Zi FM

For more information please contact:-

Public Relations Officer

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission

144 Samora Machel Avenue

Harare, Zimbabwe

Tel: +263 4 703616, 701811, 705268, 705268

ZHRC Statement to Commemorate International Women’s Day