Zimbabwe joined the international community on Wednesday in celebrating the quiet achievements of the world's rural women.
Rural women are key agents for achieving the transformational economic, environmental and social changes required for sustainable development but are hardly celebrated.
Limited access to credit, health care and education are among the many challenges they face, which are further aggravated by the global food and economic crises and climate change.
Celebrations centered on how to empower them with activists saying this is the key, not only to the well-being of individuals, families and rural communities, but also to overall economic productivity, given women’s large presence in the agricultural workforce worldwide.
In his message marking the day, United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-Moon said collectively, rural women are a force that can drive global progress.
In Zimbabwe, director of one of the organisations working with rural women, the Women’s Trust, Memory Zonde Kachambwa, says despite major strides being made in promoting the rights of women in rural areas, more still needs to be done.
Meanwhile, in a similar development in Harare on Wednesday, Plan International Zimbabwe and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, held commemorations to mark the International Day of the Girl child.
The ministry’s Girls Empowerment Framework was also launched at the occasion.
Plan International Zimbabwe gender advisor Tinotenda Hondo, hailed what she says is a landmark launch of an important framework that will improve the lives of all girls in the country.
“We really feel this is a landmark not only for government committing its self to do something for girls but in really giving concrete actions that they are going to take which are actually time-bound and we can receive, come back and ask what has been done,” said Hondo
The framework outlines the government’s agenda on enacting and tightening laws and policies that protect the girl child and advance her in terms of education, reproductive rights, safety and protection and economic empowerment.
Hondo added this year in promoting girls issues, Plan International launched the hashtag #itsagirlthing, promoting girl’s empowerment throughout the globe.
#itsagirlthing accompanied by a video under the same name was shown by respective country Plan International organizations depicting the wonderful and troubling aspects of the global girlhood experience.