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Women Group Set Gender Benchmarks for Incoming Administration

Institute for Young Women Development (IYWD) has today launched two projects, the Zimbabwe Feminist Manifesto and the #RedCard Campaign to highlight all forms of violence against women that work against their enjoyment of their constitutional rights in letter and spirit.

Addressing journalists in Harare, IYWD representative, Winnet Shamhuyarira said the manifesto is an outcome of conversations on issues women’s ability to exercise and enjoy their full human rights.

“For eleven years, we have participated in elections that have rarely benefited us in a sustained way. In fact, things are getting worse for women on a daily basis, our struggles and leadership are trivialized and invisible,

“Our marginalization has left us with unmet needs, verbal and physical violence along with closing of circular space have frightened and discouraged many of us from engaging in the public arena,

“Therefore we demand public services that work, a govt that is responsive to our rights and needs, housing, refuse removal, affordable treatment centers and medicine, maternal health facilities, quality public education and social protection for those marginalized,” said Shamhuyarira.

Speaking at the conference, (IYWD) Director, Glanis Changachirere said the #RedCard campaign seeks to hold the government that gets into office after 30 July accountable by issuing Red Cards when the government goes offside on women’s rights.

“This is a campaign against sexism and all forms of violence against women, from today onward we are holding every contesting for public office accountable by issuing red cards when they all goes or allows for offside on women’s rights” she said.

Changachirere added that the term hure/sifebe has been appropriated as part of their feminist strategy that acknowledges that women are powerful, competent, responsible and effective citizens and leaders of Zimbabwe.

“We shall no longer be deterred by terms that seek to discredit and divide us based on morality while seeking to entrench patriarchy in our society, at a time the rest of the world is pushing for progressive, gender sensitive and inclusive policy and development. But rather embrace them in the spirit of recognizing and celebrating women who dare,” added Changachirere.

She emphasized that women’s private lives must remain as such and this includes sexuality and sexual preferences, performance in public office must be based on our levels of professionalism and ability to meet key result areas and should never be reduced to their bodies.

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