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Mnangagwa challenges women to take up leadership positions

by Staff reporter
26 Feb 2020 at 05:57hrs | Views
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has challenged women to take up leadership positions in the development agenda as they are the beacon of morality and integrity. He was speaking while officiating at the launch of the Zimbabwe chapter of the African Women Leaders' Network (AWLN) on the sidelines of the 6th Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development here yesterday.

Zimbabwe becomes the 14th African country and first in the Sadc region to launch the AWLN chapter following its inauguration in 2017, with the aim of bringing together African leaders from various sectors including government, business, civil society and academia for the enhancement of women's leadership towards the realisation of Africa's Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals.

President Mnangagwa said the launch of the AWLN is welcome and opportune for Zimbabwe.

"It is my singular honour and privilege to join you today to launch the Zimbabwe chapter of the African Women Leaders' Network (AWLN). I exhort you to ensure that this platform provides a coordinated platform for women leaders in Zimbabwe to exchange experiences and expertise with their sisters on the continent to help inform our national development discourse.

"It is my hope that the AWLN in Zimbabwe will also provide an important pathway to accelerate the ongoing efforts to improve the quality of life of our people in line with our national vision 2030 as well as Agenda 2030.

"I encourage you as women leaders to stimulate development and take positions towards the achievement of our national vision 2030. As mothers, sisters and daughters, you are the beacon of morality, integrity and virtuous living. Our continent depends on you to foster, teach and engender our value systems as epitomised by the spirit of Ubuntu," he said.

President Mnangagwa commended Zimbabwean women for bringing the concept of AWLN home, saying this will assist in the development agenda. He said the network will further offer opportunities for women leaders to create a national platform for coordinated efforts for the development of the country as well as embrace the leadership of African women in bringing transformative changes focusing on peace, security and development on the continent.

He implored the network to also empower rural women, mentor young women and seek to achieve gender equality as well as inclusion of women in all sectors so that no one is left behind as the country joins the rest of the continent in "the Africa we want".

The theme for the launch was: "Peace and social cohesion for Zimbabwe's sustainable development," which President Mnangagwa said is a prerequisite for fulfilment of the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development.

"This chapter must equally be used in the realisation of Section 80 of our national Constitution which emphasises the women's right to equal opportunities. Women engagement and leadership are indispensable ingredients to peace, stability and sustainable development.

"Empirical evidence indicates that the participation of women in peace building process focuses more on reconciliation, economic development, education and justice. In this regard, the inclusion of women must continue to be encouraged from family and community to national level," he said.

The President challenged African governments to accelerate the multifaceted empowerment and inclusion of women across all sectors of economies.

"We must do our part to break the glass ceiling and open doors of opportunity. There is nothing that limits women from occupying any position in any sector of the economy.

"I call upon the Zimbabwe chapter to bring to fruition the ongoing efforts to implement the objectives and goals of the network which aims to positively impact the lives of ordinary women and girls in our country," added President Mnangagwa.

He said the new concept of women network will generate the much-needed support for women's leadership and urged the network to bridge the generational gap through mentorship of young women.

President Mnangagwa challenged the network leadership to speak with one voice to push the women agenda. Women Affairs, Community and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni is the inaugural chair for the Zimbabwe chapter.  

Other members include Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa, MDC-T president Dr Thokozani Khupe, former vice president Dr Joice Mujuru, Dr Nyaradzo Gumbonzvanda, Ms Ruvarashe Miti and Dr Nothabo Ncube who are both youth representatives in the network.

In her remarks, Minister Nyoni said AWLN was established in 2017 following a meeting at the UN. "The intention was to create a forum for existing and emerging women leaders across the continent of Africa to share their experiences and create partnerships across the continent in order to work towards Africa Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

"Women make 52 percent of Zimbabwe's population and are a force for socio-cultural, political and economic development of our country. "The national Chapter of this movement will galvanise women leaders to effectively engage in the country's development discourse," she said.

Said Minister Mutsvangwa: "Today is truly a dream come true. As one of those who attended the inaugural global meeting in 2017 where African Women in Leadership Network was launched, it gives me pleasure to witness and be part of this launch." She thanked President Mnangagwa for championing the cause of women.

"Thank you for demonstrating a commitment to create an enabling environment for women so that they meaningfully participate in shaping sustainable development in Zimbabwe. A commitment which is steeped within our Zimbabwe Constitution," Minister Mutsvangwa said.

In a statement Ms Bineta Diop the special envoy of the AU chairperson, Mr Moussa Faki Mahammat for women, peace and security congratulated Zimbabwe on the launch.

"Today you are joining a growing number of countries where AWLN chapters have been established to enhance women leadership and we are proud of that. By launching this AWLN chapter you recognise the importance of women to building the Africa we want.

"Women leadership is necessary now more than ever to prevent and mediate conflict, to build sustainable and lasting peace and be agents of economic and financial change and as guardians and leaders of a corruption free society," she said.

Source - chronicle