Heal Zimbabwe Statement on International Women’s Day Commemorations.
Heal Zimbabwe joins the rest of the world in commemorating International Women’s Day. The theme for this year is “Press for Progress”. The theme underscores the need for communities to be gender inclusive and progress towards gender parity.
To commemorate this historic day, a Women Safe Space for Reconciliation (WSSR) established by a community that works with Heal Zimbabwe in Gokwe North conducted a collaborative neutral platform in the form of a nhimbe at Ukomo Primary School in Gokwe North ward 24 on 07 March 2018. The objective of the clean-up campaign was to raise awareness on the need for peace and tolerance ahead of the 2018 elections. In her address, Eunice Dzviriri, the WSSR chairperson highlighted that there was need for communities to spread peace and exercise tolerance right from the home. “…As a community, lets ensure that we propagate message of peace and tolerance given that the country will conduct elections this year, peace begins with us all…”, she said. In the past, the group has carried out income saving and lending schemes for women in a bid to propagate peace among fellow women in the community.
Heal Zimbabwe fully appreciates that women have performed important roles as peace negotiators and peace educators in both families and society. Such roles contribute immensely to peace building and build the capacity of communities to prevent violent conflicts. Women have also acted as mediators and trauma healing counsellors. Over the years, Women survivors of political violence that work with Heal Zimbabwe have defied community norms and values by taking a leading role in spearheading the promotion of community peace, healing and reconciliation initiatives across Zimbabwe.
To acknowledge that women are indeed key players in peace building, Heal Zimbabwe community structures such as WSSR, Community Accountability Action Teams (CAATs), Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and some Community Peace Clubs are led by women. These platforms create space for women to carry out small capacity building projects, mediate conflicts and discuss other pertinent issues that affect them.
International Women’s day is a day that is celebrated on 08 March every year. The day also celebrates women’s economic, political and social achievements. Heal Zimbabwe will continue working with women to fully empower them to take leading roles in building peace and development in their areas. International women’s day offer an opportunity to celebrate the remarkable role played by women in building peace and social cohesion in their communities.