Women educators converge on Zim

Promoting access to tertiary education among women is vital for the economic development of Africa, says, Women’s University in Africa Vice Chancellor, Hope Sadza.

Addressing delegates at the 6th World Women Universities Presidents Forum hosted by WUA in Harare recently, Sadza said rigid timetables at most universities tended to frustrate women, who tended to be under- represented in university enrolments, especially in the essential fields of applied sciences.

“Engineering and technology are a gateway to economic emancipation and, consequently, the corridors of power, but we have a few women studying for those particular qualifications,” she said.

The Forum saw women vice chancellors from all over the world converge in Zimbabwe. Vice President Joice Mujuru applauded WWUPF for its efforts to enhance the numbers of women in leadership positions while equipping them with knowledge and skills.

“It is not enough to talk about how women are being marginalised without taking direct steps to address the situation,” she said.

“Advocacy without taking real intervention measures will not get us anywhere. Women will continue to be under- represented in leadership roles until we start getting larger numbers of women with qualifications in those areas that are currently dominated by men” said Mujuru.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Women Affairs Gender and Development, Sylvia Utete Masango, said there was need to take relevant government ministries on board and ensure that women’ s issues were accorded the attention they deserve.

She highlighted the need to create strategic partnerships and synergies between government ministries and private players to create an enabling environment for the participation of women in all aspects of the economy.

“Research has indicated that women’s participation in the mainstream economic activities boosts development, hence the need to create an enabling environment for their participation,” she said.

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