By Wallace Mawire
Empowering women and girls could help Zimbabwe achieve at least eight of the 17 global goals for sustainable development including
health, poverty, education, nutrition and violence against women and girls, according to Ekenia Chifamba, Director of Shamwari
Yemwanasikana, an organisation in Zimbabwe based in Chitungwiza working on comprehensive strategies to empower the girl child.
Chifamba said at a belated International Women’s Day (IWD) commemoration event held at a colourful ceremony in the Harare gardens
that through effective partnership,Zimbabwe can lead the way to change given the scale and complexity of violence against women and girls as
this cannot be ended by politicians alone.
“All actors, from lawmakers and community leaders, to the media, civil society actors and the girls themselves, have a role to play in
making gender based violence history,” Chifamba said.
Also, due to her dedicated work in the area of women’s empowerment, especially the girl child, Ekenia Chifamba was recently sworn in as a
full member of the Anti-Domestic Violence council of Zimbabwe.
“Through this appointment, the onus will be upon me and other council members to advance women’s issues, empower women and girls and
empowering the nation,” Chifamba said.
Some of the activities of her organisation include mobilising families and communities as agents of change, providing adequate
services, and advocating for a legal framework that protects girls from all forms of abuse and its negative consequences.
She also urged government to work closely with civil society and other actors to protect all girls at risk and provide support to them
so that they are holistically empowered.
Chifamba said that Gender Based Violence (GBV) curtails Zimbabwe’s development and economic prosperity by denying millions of girls, who
will be future women, the education and opportunities that would have empowered them to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
This year’s IWD commemoration was observed under the theme: Be Bold for Change. The belated event, was also graced by the organisation’s partners like the UNFPA and the ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development.