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Last Week at a Glance Issue 50
Women's Coalition
December 14, 2010

Women and Law in Southern Africa Research and Education Trust pretest Family Laws handbook

On the 7th of December 2010, Women and Law in Southern Africa Research and Education Trust (WLSA) held a pre-testing workshop on the comic style version of the family laws handbook at Cresta Lodge in Harare.

The project started in 2009 as a partnership between WLSA and the Ministry of Women Affairs to produce an updated family laws handbook. WLSA explained that since 1980 Zimbabwe has passed a number of laws that govern family relations. These include the Legal Age of Majority Act of 1982(now part of the General Laws of Amendments Act), Matrimonial Causes Act of 1985, Administration of Estates Amendment Act of 1997, Maintenance Act, Criminal Law Code, Children Act and the Domestic Violence Act of 2007.

In 1997 a family laws handbook was created by the then Ministry of National Affairs Employment creation and co-operatives that was used as both a training guide and resource book. However these laws have changed and this has rendered the handbook archaic due to the changes that have taken place in the laws. Most family laws have been replaced, some amended.

The half day workshop was attended by 18 participants who included representatives from the Ministry of Women Affairs, Advisory committee of the family laws handbook, civic society organizations and the media houses. The overall objective of the workshop was to critique the draft comic style version of the family laws handbook in Zimbabwe.

WLSA has now moved on to phase two which involves editing and printing of the handbook and simplification of the laws into pamphlets. WLSA has produced the simplified version of the handbook in comic style pamphlets. These pamphlets will be translated into Ndebele and Shona.

It is on this background that the Ministry of Women Affairs Gender and Community Development funded by the UNDP partnered with WLSA to produce the comic style pamphlet on family laws in Zimbabwe. The comic style pamphlets are to be used mainly by officers of the Ministry of Women Affairs to train people in the communities. However they can be accessed by anyone.

Last Weeks Events

Voices of young women in Zimbabwe - Young African Leaders Movement (YWALM)

A number of young women marched from Girls High School to the Parliament Entrance on the 8th of December 2010. The key objective of the march was to present the petition to the Government Ministries and Departments. Young Women in Zimbabwe require full cooperation in facilitating the enforcement of various instruments and facilitates at their disposal towards the empowerment and advancement of young women. Young women especially in marginalized areas have often been sidelined, hence government bodies are being required to visit their policies with special attention to these young women. The petition was based on the findings from the 10 provinces of Zimbabwe under the project of YWALM titled Capturing the Voices of Young Women in Zimbabwe; this was in partnership with Be The Next Young Woman Politician Campaign.

Membership Profile

Women Action Group (WAG) was established in 1983. Its mission statement is to advocate and defend women's human rights in Zimbabwe and to provide them with the tools to assert those rights. WAG's work is carried out holistically and programmes incorporated women's legal and health rights. Its objectives are create and increase public awareness on legal and health rights of women in Zimbabwe; encourage women to be directly involved in making decisions on issues that affect their lives; advocate for gender sensitive policies and ensure that women have access to justice. WAG is headed by Edinah Masiyiwa.

Visit the Women's Coalition fact sheet

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