ZGC Statement on International Women’s Day


 The Zimbabwe Gender Commission is one of five Independent Commissions established in terms of Sections 232 (c) and 245 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and operationalized through the Zimbabwe Gender Commission Act (Chapter 10:31), with the overall mandate of promoting, protecting and advancing gender equality as provided for in the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

The Commission joins the world in commemorating the International Women’s Day (IWD) which is running under the theme, “DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality. The theme focuses on how technology and education in the digital era can help the empowerment of women and girls across the world.

The Commission acknowledges the initiatives being undertaken by Government and stakeholders to increase girls’ participation in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education and careers. It further acknowledges the enactment of the Cyber and Data Protection Act [Chapter 12:07] of 2021 aimed at increasing cyber security and build confidence and trust in the safe use of information and communication technologies by data controllers, their representatives and data subjects.

The Commission however recognizes that, despite gains made, there still exists a gender gap in this arena. Women face many gender-based barriers to accessing technologies. The Commission expresses concern about the structural and systemic barriers preventing women and girls from being equipped with the resources, technology, knowledge, awareness and skills to leverage connectivity for their political, economic and social empowerment. The Commission further condemns technology-facilitated gender-based violence and the significant physical, sexual, psychological, social, political or economic harm it causes to women and girls, infringing on their rights and freedoms.

More laws and policies should thus be enacted to ensure the safety of the cyber space which has amplified the reach and impact of gender based violence packaged in abusive online materials.

In light of the above, the Commission calls upon the Government and relevant stakeholders to;

  • Facilitate gender transformative technology within artificial intelligence (the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages);
  • Engage men and boys in multi-stakeholder cooperation that ensures that digital rights are women’s rights;
  • Increase women and girl’s access to and use of digital technology and ensure affordable access to ICTs to facilitate online education and training;
  • Ensure that national strategies on technology and innovation provide the basis for gender-responsive policies and programming that fulfils the human rights and needs of women and girls;
  • Ensure the full, equal and meaningful participation and leadership of women in technology and innovation;
  • Enact legislation, develop policies and strengthen their implementation to prevent and eliminate acts of technology-facilitated gender-based violence;
  • Provide support to survivors of technology-facilitated gender-based violence through the provision of helplines and social and legal services

For more information, contact ZGC Chairperson, Commissioner Margaret Mukahanana Sangarwe 0712214203/ 0772869214, or Chief Executive Officer Virginia Muwanigwa 0712899543/ 0772327955

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