HARARE, Zimbabwe, — The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in Zimbabwe today joined the citizens of Zimbabwe, the UN family and other development partners in celebrating the international women’s month through a virtual tour of projects in the Zvishavane district. The objective of the virtual tour was to showcase the impact of the Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund (ZRBF) programme interventions. as well as give ZRBF key stakeholders, and other participants an opportunity to listen to the contributions that the programme has made in alleviating the effects of climate change across the 18 ZRBF districts. The ZRBF project has been building different resilience capacities of women to deal with hazards and disasters among beneficiaries
As we celebrate this year’s international women’s month under the theme, ‘Changing Climates: Equality today for a sustainable tomorrow,’ FAO believes that the contribution of women and girls to building sustainable agri-food systems is anchored around building their resilience. In Zimbabwe, FAO has been building resilience of women through various programmes that promote women through asset ownership; access to training and information on climate change; challenging gender social norms that discriminate women among other gender sensitive programmes and interventions aimed at addressing and achieving SDGs 1 and 2 to end hunger and poverty.
“The virtual showcases demonstrated that through the ZRBF, women are key to learn and implement innovative approaches to disaster risk management. When women are educated and are able to mobilize financial resources, they are more keen to invest in their families. That is the reason why women should be empowered by owning assets, and decide on the use of their resources. When women are empowered, they can organize themselves in the communities and better take care of their families,” said Dr. Patrice Talla, FAO Subregional Coordinator for Southern Africa and FAO Representative to Zimbabwe.
Droughts are now a common phenomenon in southern Africa and of late have been more frequent. They used to be a 10-year cycle but now recurring every three years. The countries in the region are therefore experiencing droughts and their effects.
“We need to look at innovative ways of building resilience such as promotion of the small grains, and climate smart agriculture. Building the resilience of rural women entails building resilience of households and communities to not only survive and recover from current crises such as droughts, but also strengthen their defences in the face of future threats,” added Dr. Talla.
The ZRBF project, funded by the European Union (EU), Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Sweden, and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, and Rural Development showcased a number of projects that are empowering women to mitigate the effects of climate change. It is a long-term development initiative with an overall objective of contributing to increased capacity of communities to protect development gains in the face of recurrent shocks and stresses enabling them to contribute to the economic development of Zimbabwe.
Governments officials, NGOs, UN agencies and other development partners commended the interventions showcased during the virtual tour. Development partners acknowledged that women now understand disaster risks, which is why they are now investing in small grains and harvesting water. There was also recommendation to adopt rights-based approach for sustainability of the gains achieved through building the resilience of women as often women are not the registered owners of livestock, infrastructure or household assets, therefore they need to enjoy the fruits of their labour. The overall objective is to ensure that the households are now food and nutrition secure.
FAO joins Zimbabwe in celebrating the international women’s month of March and beyond. As we continue supporting building the resilience of women in Zimbabwe, FAO has lined up a number of projects that will complement Government efforts, development partners and the ZRBF. These projects are aimed at making the FAO Zimbabwe fit-for-purpose in achieving the Four Betters (better production, better nutrition, better environment and a better life) which are enshrined in the FAO Strategic Framework (2022-2031).
Let us celebrate the women’s month and beyond. #BreakingtheBias
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of FAO Regional Office for Africa.