March the 8th every year is celebrated the world over as the International Women’s Day. Originally called the International Working Women’s Day, the day commemorates the struggle for women’s rights. The residents of Mutare have joined the world in commemorating the day, with most women saluting women politicians for their courage to take up governance positions. This year’s commemorations are running under the theme,”Be bold for change”. The International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
The United Nations Secretary General’s message for International Women’s Day posts that women’s rights are human rights but in these troubled times, and as our world becomes more unpredictable and chaotic, the rights of women and girls are being restricted and reversed.
“Empowering women and girls is the only way to protect their rights and make sure they can realize their full potential”, read the statement.
However, Clara Nyarota a gender activist and focal person under the Kumakomo Community Radio initiative listening clubs paid tribute to all women in politics, saying that it is not an easy task for women to take up such positions. In an interview with KCRS Nyarota said, “ I would like to salute all women who are actively taking political positions because it shows their great courage to play a part in the development matrix of nations. Most women who take up such positions are labeled negatively”.
She went on to pay tribute to the women who have lost their lives, and some who had to leave their homes for greener pastures, summing up with a call for women to fight for economic freedom and justice.
Justice Makoni of Dangamvura in Mutare was of the opinion that to celebrate the day, society has to engage and work with women in all communities and in the work places.
“I call upon communities to engage and work with women in workplaces and communities as a way of appreciating women”, said Makoni.
The day comes at a time the country is expecting a bumper maize harvest, with women contributing significantly in the maize production. However, with high unemployment rates in the country women remain the most affected as they have to bear the brunt of catering for families, against such a background. As well, politically, it has been very difficult for women to permeate into the highest political positions, with some women accused of pulling fellow women down, while the quota system seems not to have created enough room for women to make it to the top.