Women take their positions in the new dispensation

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Henrietta Rushwaya

Zimbabwe will tomorrow join the rest of the world in celebrating the International Women’s Day under the theme, “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change”, putting the innovation by women and girls, for women and girls, at the heart of efforts to achieve gender equality. Our country is no exception in this exercise.

This year’s celebration comes when many women have taken their positions in authority, both in the private and public sector courtesy of the Second Republic ably led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

President Mnangagwa has prioritised women in positions of authority especially in the public sector and in government.

Women who stand out as influential in the country include First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson Priscilla Chigumba, chairperson of ZANU PF and Minister of Defence Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Ministers Monica Mutsvangwa, Sekai Nzenza, Stembiso Nyoni, Priscah Mupfumira and Kirsty Coventry. The private sector is endowed with women who have made it in the world previously dominated by men and they have distinguished themselves with flying colours.

Among women who have made it in this sector are Professor Hope Sadza who is a co-founder of Women’s University in Africa and its current Vice Chancellor, Dr Eve Christine Gadzikwa, the director general and secretary to the Standards Association of Zimbabwe and 13th President of AU standards body, the African Organisation for Standardisation, and Dr Divine Ndhlukula, founder and Managing Director of DDNS Security Operations Ltd which is the holding company for SECURICO Security Services. Dr Ndhlukula is also the Chairperson of ZNCC Women’s Desk.

Former chief executive officer of NicozDiamond Insurance Grace Muradzikwa easily makes the cut in this category as well as permanent secretaries Gloria Magombo, Virginia Magombo, Institute of Chartered Accountants Zimbabwe Gloria Zvaravanhu, Faith Mazani, the Commissioner General of Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and newly-appointed Gwanda State University vice chancellor Professor Ntombizakhe Mlilo, among others.

The fact that these women are part of the train that is taking Zimbabwe to its desired trajectory speaks volumes of how women have become the cornerstone of the country as President Mnangagwa solidifies his “Zimbabwe is Open for Business” mantra.

I’m privileged to have been the first women to occupy the position of chief executive officer of the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA). Football had been dominated by men before that. However the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) , some decades ago, introduced women football and this has brought women in mainstream administration.

The current FIFA secretarygeneral is Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura, a former Senegalese diplomat and senior executive.

Currently I’m serving as the president of the Zimbabwe Mining Federation, an organisation that represents the aspirations of miners. Mining is very vital in Zimbabwe as it contributes immensely to the Gross Domestic Product of the country. I’m proud that small scale miners have surpassed large scale miners in gold deliveries to Fidelity Printers and Refiners. It is a fascinating experience.

Going forward, I believe the future of this country is in the hands of women especially in leadership positions, not to mention that it is women who have largely shouldered the burden of poverty, hunger and abuse at grassroots level.

It is women that till the land in the rural areas, rear the cattle in the countryside and look after the family while their male counterparts are in urban areas. The future is women and women are the future!!