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Rights Activists Demand Funding for Women's Empowerment Projects

  • Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye

Nyaradzo Mashayamombe

Nyaradzo Mashayamombe

A high powered delegation of Zimbabwean women is in New York, United States, for an annual conference on the status of women set to discuss, among many other issues, strides that have been made in the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women globally.

Nyaradzo Mashayamombe of Tag A Life International Trust (TALI), one of the child rights organisations participating at the conference, said it is imperative for governments to commit to funding some of the projects recommended in such gatherings.

"It’s a good thing to discuss sustainable development goals but however funding is a key to realizing those goals, so we need governments to stop the rhetoric of just coming together and signing papers but to deliberately fund issues that relate to women and girls because if these goals are not funded we will not have any change for the next 15 years, “said Mashayamombe.

According to U.N Women, the conference last year met to review and appraise the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcomes of the 23rd special session of the General Assembly, including current challenges that affect the implementation of the Platform for Action and the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women.

The conference also looked at opportunities for strengthening gender equality and the empowerment of women in the post 2015 development agenda through the integration of a gender perspective.

This year the conference's theme is ‘Women’s Empowerment and the link to Sustainable Development and the Elimination and Prevention of All Forms of Violence Against Women and Girls’.

Asked about what key issues women from Zimbabwe at the conference, are concerned about Mashayamombe said, "One of the key issues coming out is the issue of gender equality and access to opportunities equally between men and women, boys and girls, the issue of gender based-violence is also high up on the agenda and the need for economic empowerment for women and the youth," she said.

Running concurrently with the conference is a youth forum at which some Zimbabweans are also participating. A Zimbabwean youth, Moreblessing Taonezvi, is part of a delegation from Rozaria Memorial Trust.

Taonezvi said she is happy to be part of event as it recognizes the importance of the younger generation in issues to do with gender equality.

"The women's forum has been an eye opener for me as this year the main focus is gender equality. This forum is good for us as young women and also young men as we don't want to leave them out of the discussions," said Taonezvi.

"I am honored to have been part of Rozaria Memorial Trust which facilitated my participation and other girls the youngest being 11 year old Maka and Hana. It's all about trying to include young girls from a tender age because being a leader of the future requires that you learn about capacity building, advocacy, HIV/AIDS and early child marriages and girl clubs things we are discussing here,” added Taonezvi.

The conference will end on the 24th.