As we commemorate the 16 days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence, 263Chat will profile 16 most influential women in Zimbabwe. The focus will be on their achievements and the contribution they have or are making to uplift society and the country at large.
Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda is the General Secretary of the World YWCA. A Zimbabwean national, she is a trained human rights lawyer with extensive experience in conflict resolution and mediation. For 20 years, she has worked on issues of women and children’s human rights, with a special focus on crisis countries, violence against women, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and HIV and AIDS.
Ms Gumbonzvanda has a Master’s degree Law with specialisation in Constitutional Property Law from the University of South Africa and completed postgraduate work on conflict resolution at Uppsala University, Sweden. She holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree (Honours) from the University of Zimbabwe.
Ms Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, a human rights lawyer, and current Chief Executive for Rozaria Memorial Trust. She also serves as the African Union Goodwill Ambassador for the Campaign to End Child Marriage, since her appointment in 2014.
She previously served as Secretary General of the World Young Women’s Christian (World YWCA), a movement in 120 countries and reaching 25 million women and girls, a role she served 2007-2016. She had previously served with the United Nations in various roles and focusing on women and children’s rights for almost 10 years, through UNIFEM (now UN Women) and UNICEF.
She was appointed by the UN Secretary General and served in the UN Commission on Information and Accountability on Women and Children’s Health.
Ms Gumbonzvanda has extensive experience of work around adolescent health and HIV, women’s rights and especially violence against women and property rights.
She has been instrumental on work around women, peace and security in the region and is renowned for advocacy at the continental level on the African Protocol on Women’s Rights and the campaign to end child marriage.
She serves on various Boards of development organisations including CIVICUS, Save the Children UK. She served as Chair of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva and was recently appointed to the Steering Committee for the Gender is My Agenda Campaign (GIMAC). She has served as chair of Action Aid International Board since 2015, and has previously served on various roles in its Board.
Ms Gumbonzvanda has received many awards for her work over the years. She recently launched a special initiative “The Girls Opportunities Fund” to further her cause and commitment to education and health for girls in rural communities.