The Sunday News
Mthabisi Tshuma, Sunday News Correspondent
THE Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ) Gwanda Chapter has called on women to take part in projects that are being rolled out by Government in order to improve the sustainability of their livelihoods.
Women constitute 51 percent of the country’s population and in Matabeleland South’s seven districts, the majority are women, according to statistics from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency.
The call for women participation in Government projects comes as Government recently reintroduced the Women Development Fund, a financial vehicle earmarked as a springboard to propel women led business initiatives.
Owing to a low uptake of the fund by women in rural areas, the fund which was established in 2010 somehow folded. Those that had registered, defaulted along the way. This prompted the Government and private sector stakeholders and partners such as the WCoZ to engage women in rural Gwanda on a three-day workshop to address challenges faced by most women when pursuing their goals. In the meeting held last week, gender advocate Mrs Thabelang Sijiye urged women to take part in Government related projects.
“It is time that women step up and take part in Government related projects which mostly are community projects that bring about success within societies. From agriculture, business to tourism, there are a number of Government projects that are in place and can help empower the former marginalised gender,” said Mrs Sijiye.
During the meeting, women in business and different economic spheres poured their hearts out on challenges they continue to encounter in pursuit of economic emancipation.
Ms Amanda Ndebele said her line of business was in the agriculture sector and she hopes to use the Matabeleland South livestock production status to improve lives of ordinary citizens.
“I am working on being an international business woman and give back to the society by creating employment opportunities for locals and to help skilled and highly intelligent vulnerable groups. I hope to buy a farm that will provide shelter for the homeless and space for those who want to do their farming projects,” said Ms Amanda Ndebele.
Ms Sigcinweyinkosi Dube spoke about her desire of being a community leader.
“I wish to be part of a resident’s association group that seeks to identify challenges faced by the people in the community and being able to come up with viable solutions to tackle such difficulties,” said Ms Dube.
WCoZ is an organisation that seeks to empower women and girls from diverse backgrounds. The organisation has chapters in all the country’s 10 provinces.