‘Zim Lagging behind In Addressing Women’s Economic Emancipation’

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By Alois Vinga

ZIMBABWE continues to lag behind in plugging the gaps which are perpetuating the exclusion of women on the economic and financial front, Economic Justice for Women’s Project (EJWP) has said.

Presenting a policy brief to the Women’s Affairs Ministry Monday, EJWP executive director, Margaret Mutsamvi said while the government has made strides in alleviating women from gender related imbalances, more still needs to be done on the economic front.

“There remain gaps in implementation and alignment of these legal instruments. In some instances, especially in operationalizing regional, continental and international instruments Zimbabwe remains one of the laggards.

“On the economic and financial policies, the root causes of discrimination and exclusion of women have not been fully addressed. Policies have been gender-neutral or blind,” she said.

She said where there have been attempts to be inclusive of women, the policies have been abrupt, not well thought out for roll out and lack adequate budget support and monitoring and evaluation on the impact of women.

“Zimbabwe’s economic model has underlying fundamental flaws that militate against an egalitarian society. This has meant that development has been equated to growth and wealth accumulation.

“This development model crisis results in women being condemned to non-lucrative sectors of the economy, failing to access financial support to fully participate in economic life,” said Mutsamvi.

The budding women’s organization leader said for Zimbabwe, there is need for a coherent approach that addresses all gaps that may have hindered the progress of realising the fundamental issues for any just society.

Mutsamvi said an analysis of past policies since independence in 1980 shows that Zimbabwe has developed and adopted a legal framework to tackle gender inequalities at the national level and at the international level which is still littered with gaps.

“There is a need for the alignment of laws that are relevant to economic governance to the Constitution. This includes but is not limited to Communal Lands Act, Rural Land Act, Mines and Mineral Act (Chapter 21:05) and the Urban Councils Act. Currently these laws are gender neutral while the constitution has moved significantly towards advancing the rights of women,” she added.