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By Dr. Harriet Sakala, FAWEZA Alumni

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From the Executive

FAWE to mark International Women’s Day with special focus on Zimbabwe


Tuesday, 3 March 2009

As countries around the world prepare to celebrate recent achievements in women’s rights and gender equality at global level and to press for greater progress on International Women’s Day on 8 March, FAWE, along with other organisations involved in the Gender is My Agenda Campaign (GIMAC), is focusing on the situation of women in Zimbabwe.

In the midst of a crippling crisis and that has resulted in international sanctions and massive human suffering, Zimbabweans find themselves deprived of some of the most fundamental of human rights:

  • The right to food and nutrition
  • The right to clean water and proper sanitation
  • The right to access health facilities
  • The right to education
  • The right to safety, protection and dignity
  • The right to freedom of expression and association

In political, economic and humanitarian crises such as Zimbabwe is currently experiencing, women and children are the worst affected. Furthermore, development agendas such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Education for All (EFA) risk losing urgency.

Yet gender equality and education are fundamental requirements for development. The World Declaration on Education for All states:

‘[E]ducation is a fundamental right for all people, women and men, of all ages, throughout our world.’

 ‘[E]ducation can help ensure a safer, healthier, more prosperous and environmentally sound world, while simultaneously contributing to social, economic, and cultural progress, tolerance, and international cooperation.’

Rallying to GIMAC’s call for a day of moral support to the women of Zimbabwe, FAWE will observe a minute of silence on International Women’s Day as a sign of solidarity. At 18h00 South African time (GMT+2), GIMAC member organisations will light candles for five minutes and read a message of support. Full message…

At the 13th African Women’s AU Pre-Summit Consultation in Addis Ababa from 27-28 January 2009, GIMAC committed to undertaking a solidarity mission to Zimbabwe in support of women in the country.

GIMAC called on all political actors and stakeholders to ensure the solidarity mission is given access to women of Zimbabwe and to intensify their actions in ensuring the crisis situation in Zimbabwe is resolved as quickly as possible. It also called on the African Union to support the efforts of the SADC on Zimbabwe and to open an office in Harare in an effort to assist Zimbabwe in overcoming its current challenges.

The full text of GIMAC’s statement can be found at http://www.genderismyagenda.com/activities/activities/13%20pre%20summit/13th%20Pre-summit%20Recommendations.pdf.

Please visit www.fawe.org for regular news updates.

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