Zim commits to human rights, women empowerment

Zimbabwe, as one of the member States of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), is attending the first ever NAM Conference on advancing the rights and empowerment of women co-organised by Azerbaijan, Uganda and Uzbekistan to reflect upon achievements and the way forward in advancing the rights and empowerment of women globally. 

The conference ran from Monday, and ended yesterday in Baku, Azerbaijan. 

Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Monica Mutsvangwa, led Zimbabwe’s delegation. 

In her statement during the conference, Minister Mutsvangwa underscored Zimbabwe’s commitment to keep advancing the human rights and empowerment of women as aligned with the agenda for the NAM. 

She reaffirmed Zimbabwe’s highest political will to tackle the challenges in the sphere of the advancement of women and their rights.

Minister Mutsvangwa emphasised Zimbabwe’s commitment to ensuring representation and full, equal and meaningful participation of women in all facets of society, and underlined the particular importance of promoting equal participation of women in political systems. 

Zimbabwe shows exemplary leadership as it has demonstrated commitment through the appointment by President Mnangagwa, of the appointment of the first-ever female Attorney-General, Prosecutor-General and the first female officer Cadet trained Brigadier-General. 

Minister Mutsvangwa encouraged NAM member States to do the same and commended their efforts towards this paramount objective as she welcomed the increasing representation of women at the highest political levels and in elected assemblies, including the recent examples in NAM member States.

She reiterated Zimbabwe’s continued support and willingness for cooperation and collective efforts towards combating all forms of violence against women, until its elimination, recognising the importance of engaging men and boys. 

The minister emphasised the necessity of an all-inclusive approach towards the promotion, advancement of women’s rights and empowerment. 

She applauded the inclusion of a stand-alone goal on the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls and the integration of a gender perspective into the 2030 Development Agenda.

Minister Mutsvangwa bemoaned the impact of unilateral coercive measures on women and girls, including on national policies and programmes aimed at ensuring their wellbeing and the full realisation of their human rights. 

In this context, she denounced and demanded the complete, immediate and unconditional repeal or removal of sanctions.

She acknowledged the central and coordinating role of the organisations of the United Nations system, within their respective mandates, to support all States’ efforts in promoting the advancement and empowerment of women and the enjoyment of their human rights. 

Minister Mutsvangwa applauded Zimbabwe’s cooperation with development partners and UN Agencies in Zimbabwe and welcomed their technical, financial and humanitarian assistance.

She welcomed the progress made towards the full implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BRPA) adopted by the Fourth World Conference on Women, and reaffirmed Zimbabwe’s support for the outcome documents of the 23rd Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly entitled, “Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century”.

Emphasis was made on the need for engagement as she cited the importance of intensifying, among NAM member States, including through high-level interaction, the exchange of ideas, visions, and perspectives on current challenges in the advancement and empowerment of women and the enjoyment of their human rights to increase cooperation and take concerted and targeted actions in that regard. 

Minister Mutsvangwa highlighted the need to include in the NAM Declaration on Advancing the Rights and Empowerment of Women, climate change issues as the impact and challenges of climate change are mostly faced by women. 

The conference took note of the proposal to establish the NAM Women Platform and deliberate through NAM Coordinating Bureau on this initiative, including on the working modalities related thereto. Minister Mutsvangwa expressed appreciation and gratitude to the people and government of Azerbaijan for the hospitality and hosting the conference.


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