THE government is in the process of setting up a Women’s Bank in an effort to empower women and help them in their income generating projects, a minister has said.
Bulawayo Provincial Affairs minister Eunice Sandi Moyo spoke at the International Women’s Day celebrations held at Amakhosi Community Grounds in Gwabalanda on Monday, saying measures were already in place for the establishment of the Women’s Bank and Zimbabweans should utilise it.
“I am informed that the government is in the process of setting up a Women’s Bank,” she said in a speech read on her behalf by personal assistant, Fikile Marovatsanga.
“I am challenging you to reposition yourselves and serve as catalysts for change in the lives of Zimbabwean women.
“I would like to commend the government for setting up a Women’s Fund, which provides loans to women without collateral.”
Moyo encouraged beneficiaries of loans to be honest and repay them so other women could benefit.
The minister said she was not amused at the manner female vendors were treated and called for a more humane approach when dealing with informal traders.
“I want to urge the government to ensure that a conducive environment is put in place for women vendors who are usually subjected to all kinds of ill-treatment and a certain percentage of all tenders should be given to women’s businesses,” she said.
The celebrations, which were organised by the Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development ministry, ran under the theme “Beijing +20: The Journey towards Women Empowerment in Zimbabwe: Successes and Challenges”.
Over the years women have taken up leadership roles. They now make 32% of the National Assembly and 48% of Senate.
The government has managed to adopt several legislative policies and administrative measures which meet up the 12 critical areas outlined in the Beijing Declaration.
Moyo encouraged all women and girls to participate in science, technology, engineering and mathematics as a way of avoiding stereotyping.
“I further want to encourage girls and young women to participate in science, technology, engineering and mathematics so that they break gender stereotypes and venture into non-traditional careers,” she added.