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EJWP slams women’s exclusion in NDS1 blueprint

By Dylan Murambgi

THE Economic Justice for Women’s Project (EJWP) has slammed the continued exclusion of women in key national economic blueprints amid calls to put in place measures aimed at specifically targeting the marginalised grouping.

The facts contained in the Non-Governmental Organisation’s research paper released recently under the theme, “Post -Independence Zimbabwe Finance and Economic Policy Evolution” notes that t National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), a five-year plan that contains policies and programs to be implemented in the country from 2021-2025  has not yet done much to alleviate women from poverty.

“The NDS1 capture the need for women inclusion and empowerment, however, much is left for implementation.

“It is only a year since the implementation of the policy, not much can be said about the extent to which the implementation of the policy has managed to advance the inclusion and empowerment of women.

“However, taking into account the signs on the ground nothing much has been done yet,” the document observed.

The paper argues that the inclusion and empowerment of women is captured under Chapter 12 that provides for Cross Cutting Issues covering Youth, Sports, Art, Culture and Gender Mainstreaming with the strategy first acknowledging that women still face humongous challenges when it comes to accessing opportunities in the national economy.

“These include limited access to finance, limited access to land and freehold property, lack of opportunities to influence policy as well as legal, cultural and patriarchal barriers.

“The policy acknowledges the importance of women in the economic matrix of Zimbabwe since they are the majority of the population, thus thriving to enhance women participation in development in tandem with the constitution,” said the paper.

The blueprint, said the report, indicated that the government has already operationalised the Zimbabwe Gender Commission, prioritized resource allocation and disbursement to women empowerment programs and the capitalization of the Women’s Microfinance Ban, a commitment which has also been made through the 2022 National Budget.

“Therefore, the NDS1 thrives to prioritize gender issues in line with the theme of ‘leaving no-one and no place behind’. Thus during further mainstreaming of gender sensitive policies and legislation, integration of gender issues into national and sectoral economic policies, and national budget is encouraged,” said the paper.

Programming and budgeting that involves identification of gender issues, interventions, budget costing, and setting of performance benchmarks.

The paper added that prioritisation of resource allocation, disbursement and implementation of national and sectoral gender plans and programs through gender sensitive projects targeting women.

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