By Loveness Nyathi and Lungile Moyo
Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ) Bulawayo Chapter has urged women to advocate for their rights.
Speaking at a women’s dialogue meeting on Wednesday
Nomalanga Dube the treasurer for Young Women’s Forum (YWF) a wing under WCoZ said the dialogue meeting aimed to create a platform for reflection on the current economic and social development in the country in relation to women’s rights and gender equality.
“The meeting is to develop a position and recommendations on how women can strategically engage and influence the various national processes,” she said.
The discussions focused on sections 17, 56 and 80 of the Zimbabwean constitution which emphasise the fundamental rights of women as equal to men.
Mrs Marble Moyo the secretary for WCoZ urged women to be serious in everything they do.
“Girls we are in a serious era, let’s work hard and create something for ourselves”, said Moyo.
An independent candidate for 2018 elections from Cowdray Park Sibongumusa Mlilo encouraged women to support and motivate each other to break the stereotyped image of women as weak and good for nothing.
“Men look down upon us, so as women we need to support each other we are also the ones who know the struggles of life as we are the ones who give birth and raise children; asiphakamisaneni sixhasane”, she said.
Mhlaseli Mpofu a development consultant from DP Foundation advised women to advocate forwhat they need first at family level before considering other things and they need not to only advocate to women but to men also so that men become aware of women’s rights.
Mrs Sipho Nsimbi the vice chairperson of WCoZ said as women they want equal opportunities and accessibility.
The Chairperson for YWF Petronella Tshuma said the anticipated outcome of the dialogue is a consolidated voice from women across the province and an agreed framework to inform lobbying and advocacy with the position of women.
She also mentioned that the targeted group is 40 women per chapter, these women will be drawn from all walks of life including the elderly and young women, women living with HIV and with disabilities.
The meeting was graced by representatives from the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Bulawayo City Council, local Non –Governmental Organisations and Bulawayo residents.
WCoZ is a network of women’s rights activists and women’s rights organisations in Zimbabwe with national structures. It was formed in 1999 to champion women’s rights issues in various contexts in Zimbabwe in order to ensure economic, political, social and cultural emancipation of women and girls.