Local groups under the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe have requested for an interface meeting with newly installed President, Emmerson Mnangagwa to highlight various issues affecting women in the country including the appointment of a gender balanced executive.
In a press statement released on Wednesday, Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ) said they identify with the various issues Mnangagwa raised issues in his inauguration speech including the country’s readiness for economic growth, employment creation, equity, freedom and democracy among other key issues.
In calling for a gender balanced executive, WCoZ appealed to Mnangagwa to adhere with the Constitutional requirement on gender balance adding that women should led key ministries such as Defence, Health, Education and Finance which have been held by men since independence.
“Whilst ensuring equal representation, we urge His Excellence to further consider the appointment of women in the portfolios of Health, Finance, Education, Foreign Affairs and Defence Ministries, to which men have been perennially appointed,” read WCoZ statement.
The group further called for the formulation of a gender responsive macro-economic policy which they said will help create and protect decent jobs for women, financial inclusion and equitable access to productive resources.
“We are the economy and the economy is women. This policy must create and protect decent jobs for women, financial inclusion and equitable access to productive resources. This should include financial sector reforms that protect the rights of women as depositors,” added WCoZ.
In addition, they appealed for the allocation of 15 percent of the 2018 budget to the health sector in line with the Abuja Declaration calling for a return to the prioritisation of the primary healthcare model in Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile they requested Mnangagwa to ensure the implementation of laws that improve the State response to gender based violence.
“Utilising his good offices to ensure the implementation of laws to significantly improve the state’s response to eradicating gender based violence. We want marriage law reform to be accelerated, in particular the prohibition of child marriages,” further noted WCoZ.
The women groups sought an interface with Mnangagwa saying they stand ready to support a progressive agenda for the nation while working towards a bright future for all citizens.