Zimbabwe-based women rights activist, Dr. Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, have demanded the deconstruction of patriarchal practices and norms that tend to restrict girls and women to the kitchen and micro businesses, respectively.
Gumbonzvanda made the demand on Tuesday during a panel discussion at the on-going first virtual Annual Africa Gender Equality Conference (#AGEC2021).
The conference, which is taking place in Lilongwe with over 3, 000 delegates participating from across Africa, is being co-hosted by For Equality, the Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare in Malawi and the Feminist Macroeconomics Alliance Malawi with support from various regional development partners.
The UN International Women’s Day 2021 is being held under the theme: “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a Covid19 world”.
Gumbonzvanda said it is sad that Africa continues to regard women as second class in spite of the various efforts the States, governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have done to uplift the status of women across the continent.
“Women are always associated with micro. Micro finance, micro business and all that! I think the first step is to deconstruct the embedded patriarchal practices and norms that restrict women to small things because they are competent, capable and empowered to handle great things just like men,” she said.
She challenged Africa Heads of States and Government to immediately start taking bold steps towards addressing challenges that women entrepreneurs and farmers face to access financing for their various enterprises.
Gumbonzvanda also pleaded with finance institutions such as banks to revise their terms and conditions for offering business loans to provide more room for women to access the services.
“Governments need to take affirmative action towards empowering women. We want affirmative action in the procurement sector so that women entrepreneurs should be able to win contracts,” she emphasized.
Civil Society Agriculture Network (CISANET) national director Pamela Kuwali, Bogolo J. Kenewendo – an African Economist, Managing Director of Kenewendo Advisory and the former Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry in Botswana – and Trócaire Chief Executive Officder, Caoimhe de Barra, were some of the panelists.
The Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati, has since commended the stakeholders for participating in the virtual conference.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :