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EJWP says tracing Mnangagwa gender policies difficult

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By Tendai Marufu

ECONOMIC Justice for Women’s Project (EJWP) says tracing President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s gender sensitive policies remains a difficult task, with his administration having done so little than to continue work commenced by his predecessors.

The views, expressed in the NGO’s recently published research paper titled, “Post-Independence Zimbabwe Finance and Economic Policy Evolution: Impact on Women” sought to understand the extent of women inclusion and empowerment in financial and economic governance in Zimbabwe.

Views were then solicited from respondents for a comparison of the Robert Mugabe era and the New Dispensation led by Mnangagwa.

The paper notes that it is difficult to compare efforts made during the late former President and the current administration given that what is being implemented by the incumbent on issues of women empowerment was conceived during the former administration.

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Reference was made to the National Financial Inclusion Strategy which was launched in 2016 and which registered the majority of its successes post-2018 including the establishment of the Women’s Bank.

“Nevertheless, on the same issue, other respondents argued that the fact that these successes are notable in the current dispensation clearly shows that there is remarkable progress in terms of actualizing constitutional provisions on women empowerment in Zimbabwe although a lot is yet to be done.

“Furthermore, one respondent argued that the incumbent government has taken a step further towards the empowerment of women through fiscal policies,” the paper said.

It was noted that for the first time, the 2022 National Budget has a supplementary document, Gender Budget Statement for 2022, which shows gender related allocations with a specific focus on women and girls.

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“The statement followed the issuance of Gender Responsive by the Treasury to guide Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in mainstreaming gender issues in their budget proposals,” the document said.

The paper however, recommended the need to improve Access to financial resources as key in advancing women empowerment.

It also suggested that there is a need for the government to honour the commitments made in the 2022 National Budget to relax conditions and address issues of collateral that limits women access to loans specifically at the Women’s Bank.

“This must be coupled with encouraging and cultivating a conducive environment for women-led cooperatives in all sectors of the economy,” added the paper.

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