On International Women’s Day, Invest in Women and Accelerate Progress

On International Women’s Day, Invest in Women and Accelerate Progress

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ON INTERNATIONAL Women’s Day (IWD) Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) stands in solidarity with all women and girls in Zimbabwe and around the world and applaud them for all the significant achievements and milestones, which they have attained despite social, legal and cultural barriers.

In their journey and fight for the creation of a just and equal world, women have registered great gains through breaking barriers to achieving equality on the economic and political fronts including dismantling some stereotypes.

In this respect, ZLHR honours the sacrifice, resilience and dedication of women, who for several years have broken the glass ceilings and for their amazing contributions towards a better future and an empowered society.

This year’s IWD, which is being commemorated under the theme “Invest In Women: Accelerate Progress,” present an opportunity for governments and all interested stakeholders to invest in peaceful conditions that are conducive for women and girls to flourish and accelerate the reformation of laws and policies that retard the advancement of women and that pose barriers to gender equality.

Across the world, women and girls continue to grapple with immense obstacles, which include injustice, inequality, patriarchy, marginalisation, discrimination and violence among other tribulations, which are eroding the achievements of decades of investments in gender equality.

This should spur and hasten governments and all stakeholders to invest in programmes aimed at ending violations against women and girls and help create a more just and inclusive world in which women are empowered to contribute, lead and inspire present and future generations.

While the Constitution has provisions guaranteeing the rights of women as provided in section 80 of the country’s supreme law, it is saddening to note the existence of laws, customs, traditions and cultural practices that infringe the rights of women conferred by the Constitution.

In 2024, women and girls in Zimbabwe are bearing the painful and heavy brunt of human rights excesses as they have been subjected to heartless violations of their fundamental rights particularly the right to shelter, as they are being forcibly evicted from their homesteads, with some having their houses demolished and even being prosecuted for allegedly committing the offence of living on and occupying their ancestral land.

The forced evictions of women and their families from their homes without due process contravene their fundamental right to freedom of eviction guaranteed in section 74 of the Constitution, the right to property enshrined in section 71 of the Constitution and Zimbabwe’s obligations under regional and international law including the protection of cultural rights and heritage.

Despite all the despair, ZLHR will continue with its work of representing and empowering women to stand for their rights and enjoy the freedoms and entitlements due to them.

To create a prosperous economy and build an equitable society, ZLHR calls upon government and other stakeholders to;

  • Immediately halt the arbitrary and forced evictions, demolitions and displacement of women and their families;

 

  • Ensure redress for victims of evictions including providing them with appropriate compensation and alternative housing options and take firm steps to prevent similar violations from occurring in the future;

 

  • Narrow and close the gender inequality gap, gender discrimination and biases against women;
  • Take and implement positive measures to improve the welfare of all women in Zimbabwe;
  • Ensure the full participation of women in all sectors of society, on the basis of equality with men;
  • Dispel myths, biases and attitudes that perpetuate gender discrimination, by educating the public about equality and women’s rights.

 

ENDS

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
Kodzero/Amalungelo House
No. 103 Sam Nujoma Street, Harare, Zimbabwe
Phone: (+263 8677005347, +263 242 764085/705370/708118
Email: info@zlhr.org
www.zlhr.org.zw
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