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Zimbabwean activist lands top UN post

by Staff reporter
04 Jan 2024 at 05:59hrs | Views
ZIMBABWEAN-BORN girls and women rights advocate Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda has landed a top post at the United Nations in another global milestone for local female professionals.

UN secretary-general António Guterres announced on Tuesday Gumbonzvanda's appointment as deputy executive director for Normative Support, UN System Co-ordination and Programme Results at the UN Women.

"The secretary-general wishes to extend his appreciation to UN Women Director, Policy, Programme and Intergovernmental Support, Sarah Hendriks of Canada, who will continue to serve as UN Women deputy executive director ad interim, until Ms Gumbonzvanda assumes her functions," reads part of the statement.

In an interview yesterday, Gumbonzvanda confirmed taking up the new appointment.

"I feel humbled by this recognition, confidence and trust bestowed in me. Being selected as a woman who lives in rural village of Murehwa who is trying to create opportunities for the marginalised communities, the appointment comes as a fulfilment of my obligations," she said.

"I have promised to serve my principal to the best of my abilities. I am grateful for the support I got from my family community and the nation, Africa and the world over.

"This appointment is not personal recognition but for everyone who has seen me rising up. It is everyone recognition that we must all be proud of. It's an affirmation in many people who invest in girls living in rural areas to grow up and be what they can potentially be in life. I am conscious that I have so much to learn in the new post and also a lot to give and lead with."

Gumbonzvanda said there was need for holistic approach to ensure that women rights are upheld across the world.

"The world we are in today demands, boldness, vision and accountability whereby resources are used according to prioritise that face women and girls from outlying rural communities.

"My work at RMT (Rozario Memorial Trust) will continue and remain robust as usual. I need to amplify women and girls voices against violence, shaping equality and economic empowerment. Women and girls need the best from any decision making table so that their rights are respected," Gumbonzvanda said.

Gumbonzvanda is the founder and executive director of RMT based in Murehwa in Mashonaland East province.

She once served as the general secretary of the World Young Women's Christian Association and United Nations Development Fund for Women Regional Programming Director in the East and Horn of Africa. Gumbonzvanda has also served in the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) as the Human Rights Officer in Liberia and National Child Rights Adviser in Zimbabwe.

Before joining Unicef, she served as the Interim Coordinator for the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association and assistant law officer at the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Constitutional Affairs.

She was also appointed the first African Union Goodwill Ambassador on Ending Child Marriage.

Gumbonzvanda holds a doctor of Laws degree (Honoris Causa) from the University of Massachusetts, USA, a Master in Laws degree from the University of South Africa, Post Graduate Certificate in Conflict Transformation from the Uppsala University, Sweden and a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) degree from the University of Zimbabwe.

Source - newsday
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