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International Women’s Day Statement



As the Institute for Young Women’s Development we join the rest of the world in celebrating
International Women’s Day. It is a special day for us as young women and women, to reflect on
progress towards gender parity, collectively around windows of opportunity, demand
for change and celebrate our wins both locally and globally. We also take this time to celebrate
the women of the past, the present women and the women of the future.
The hashtag for this year, “#BreaktheBias” brings the world’s memory of young women and
women over the centuries to the fore. Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right,
but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. While we
celebrate the few young women and women who have shattered the glass ceiling and have
assumed leadership positions across all walks of life, we recognise that there is still much work
that needs to be done.
Having taken one step in the right direction, two years later after COVID-19 pandemic hit the
world we have taken ten steps back. Young women and women have been suffering due to
existing inequalities and their plight has been exacerbated by the effects of COVID-19which
has wreaked havoc in the health sector, further crippling the economy and disrupted security
and social protection. It is the young women and women of this world that are sustaining the
world in this time of crisis, bearing the brunt as front line workers and unpaid caregivers in the
home. Young women and women are exposed to all forms of violence, leaving them twice as
vulnerable as before the COVID-19 crisis. Our thoughts go to all survivors of violence on this
day, as we call for stiffer penalties that deter future offenders.
On the Regional and International platform Zimbabwe has committed to gender equality through
instruments such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Gender Protocol,
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the Beijing Platform of
action amongst others. At a local level our Constitution in section 17 calls for gender balance
and full participation of women in all facets of life in the country, section 56 guarantees women
the right to equality and non-discrimination and section 80 is the cherry on top that guarantees
women the right to equal opportunities in political, economic and social atmosphere. With this in
mind we call for the legislature of Zimbabwe to enact a Model Gender Equality in the
As Zimbabwe prepares to go to the ballot we condemn the recent overt violent attacks on
women in politics. These violent attacks continue to deepen the hole of women voter apathy and
fear to stand as political candidates in the upcoming election. We call for safe spaces for young
women and women to be the utmost best expression of themselves. We envisage a Zimbabwe
in which every girl, young woman and woman has #HerRightOfWay. Lastly we implore the
government and Zimbabweans at large to respect the rights of young women and women as
stipulated in the Constitution. #BreakTheBias

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