The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) joins the rest of the world in commemorating this years’ edition of the International Women’s Day. This year the day is being commemorated under the theme, Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women.

International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8 to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women.

As we commemorate this day, we take time to reflect the importance and the role played by women in different aspects of our daily lives. In the whole world women contribute the greatest percentage population but sadly they remain a disadvantaged group in society economically, socially and politically. They have continued to bear the brunt at the work places and in households.

For the NCA, the commemorations are coming at a time when we have embarked on a campaign dubbed ‘Act Now Against Political Violence targeting women.’ The campaign seeks to address the scourge of political violence as the country approaches yet another referendum by raising awareness, building support structures, name and shame perpetrators as well as capacitating women and communities at large to deal with the scourge at two levels: prevention and support for victims.

We embarked on this campaign fully cognisant from experience that women have been the most affected victims during election period.

In this light the NCA will continue fighting for the enshrinement of the rights of women in a new people driven constitution.

We therefore wish to reaffirm Section 6 of the Zimbabwe’s People’s Charter on Gender which states that ;

6. We hold that all human beings are created equal, must live and be respected equally with equitable access to resources that our society offers regardless of their gender. Gender equality is the responsibility of both women and men equally. We also hold and recognise the role that our mothers and sisters in the liberation of our country from colonialism and their subsequent leading role in all our struggles for democracy and social justice. And that this fundamental principle must be observed and withheld at all levels of the People’s Charter both on paper and in practise where decisions are made over and about the following ;

1. Our national budget and economy.

11. Our legislative and government processes in order to allow representative quota systems.

111. Provision by the state of all health care and all sanitary requirements of women.

1V. An understanding that women bear the brunt of any decline in social welfare security, economic and political system

Lastly we wish our mothers and sisters fruitful commemorations world over.

For and on behalf of the NCA,

Madock Chivasa