Women take centre stage in politics, peace-building, business

khupeMore than 100 female business and political executives gathered in Harare to discuss Women's Economic and Political Empowerment. NGONI CHANAKIRA attended the three-day event and this is his report. (Pictured: Thokozani Khupe)

HARARE – More than 100 female business and political leaders gathered in Harare for a three-day international conference on “Women’s Economic and Political Empowerment and Peace Building”.

The event was held at the five-star Harare International Conference Centre (HICC), currently undergoing a major million-dollar spruce-up.

Delegates came from major organisations such as the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the World Bank, and included the Minister of Gender in Rwanda, African Union (AU) Gender Ministers, YWCA in Geneva, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Women (UNW), and theYoung Women African Leaders Movement.

Speakers included Vice President Joyce Mujuru, Deputy Prime Minister, Thoko Khupe, Sekai Holland, Minister of State Organ on National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration, Jessie Majome, Deputy Minister of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, controversial Theresa Makone from the MDC-T and joint Home Affairs Minister, Rutendo Mudzamiri from YWALM, Emelia Muchawa from the Zimbabwe Women’s Lawyers Association (ZWLA), and Olivia Muchena, Minister for Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development in Zimbabwe.

The conference was organised by the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development in collaboration with the Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration and the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe.

A spokesperson for the conference said in an interview that this first female only international business conference in focused on womens involvement in peace building and healing processes.

She said it also gave an overview of constitutional guarantees such as quotas, electoral laws and systems, intra-party democracy processes to level the playing field for women’s political empowerment.

On Thursday, the women made field visits to successful projects around Harare, managed or started, by Zimbabwean women.

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