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to enforce laws on women and girls
Daily News Online
March 10, 2005
HARARE - A senior
official with a United Nations (UN) agency for family planning on says
the challenge for Zimbabwe is to enforce the laws that have been put in
place and translate existing policies into concrete programmes that benefit
women and girls.
the UNFPA Gender and Advocacy Officer, said on Tuesday women and girls
have for a long time been subjected to humiliating treatment by their
This year’s International
Women’s Day commemorations are being held under the theme "Gender
Equality Beyond 2005: Building a More Secure Future".
since traditions and practices are often stronger than law, greater efforts
must be made to empower women, foster community participation, involve
men and use culturally sensitive approaches.
She said: "Disturbing
levels of violence against women and the absence of laws to adequately
protect women and girls from such violence, high levels of maternal mortality,
women and girls’ increased vulnerability to HIV/AIDS infection and the
unequal representation of women in decision-making positions all point
to the need for greater awareness and collective action."
She said this year’s
theme recognised that greater progress to protect the rights of women
and ensuring their full participation in decision-making was essential
for peace, development and equality.
Of particular importance
to UNFPA is reproductive health as agreed on by world leaders at the International
Conference on Population and Development in 1994 and at the Fourth World
Conference on Women in Beijing (995).
She said all individuals
have the right to reproductive health, to determine freely and responsibly
the number and spacing of their children and to have information and the
means to exercise those decisions.
The UNFPA official
urged the government of Zimbabwe to assert that each woman and girl was
a unique and valuable human being who is entitled to equal opportunities
and universally adopted human rights, irrespective of place of birth or
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