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Zim women activists call for aggressive outreach to UN bodies
May 10, 2012
young women activists on Tuesday called for more aggressive local
outreach by government and non-governmental actors to ensure adequate
and full representation of issues affecting women. They further
noted that government should be held accountable for promoting and
respecting women's rights.
is need to provide more information about how individuals and organisations
can know more about the UN Commission on the Status of, as well
as participate in the local processes leading to it," said
Lucy Mazingi, director of the Youth Empowerment Trust. Mazingi and
fellow activist Grace Chirenje were panellists at a Food for Thought
session organised by the by the Zimbabwe United States Alumni Association
(ZUSAA) and the U.S. Embassy.
The two young
women activists talked about their first visit to the UN women's
summit, February 27 to March 9 this year. Their participation was
funded by the U.S. Embassy with the aim of increasing understanding
of the summit and its goals among young women in Zimbabwe. The two
women, who are members of ZUSAA, called for increased involvement
of youth and rural women in these summits as a way of holding government
to account for the protection of women's rights.
since we started being active in the women's movement, we
used to associate the CSW with the directors of big women's
organizations, as they were the only ones who would attend the international
summit," said Mazingi, who is also deputy chairperson of the
Students and Youth
Working on the Reproductive Health Action Team (SAYWHAT).
to unpack the CSW and come up with an orientation manual for all
Zimbabwean women, young and old, rural and urban, rather than what
is currently available on their website," said Chirenje, coordinator
of the Young Women's Network for Peace Building.
Chirenje committed themselves to making information available on
the summit and its importance as a way of promoting an inclusive
process to build awareness and respect for women's rights
the CSW and its 2012 theme as relevant to the Millennium Development
Goal (MDG) on the eradication of poverty and hunger. Testimonies
given by participating countries pointed to the marginalisation
of the women in the rural areas (indigenous women) as sharing the
same experiences. The women said the meeting was an opportunity
to challenge their government on the way it is addressing the needs
of the majority of the citizens in Zimbabwe.
on the Status of Women is a functional commission of the United
Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). It is the principal
global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to gender equality
and the advancement of women. Every year, government representatives
gather at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to evaluate
progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards
and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and women's
theme focused on the empowerment of rural women and their role in
poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges.
Zimbabwean participants included legislators, senior government
officials and representatives of civil society organisations.
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