The Platform for Action is an agenda for women’s empowerment
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Acknowledging that equality between women and men is an essential prerequisite for the creation of a “peaceful, just, humane and equitable world,” representatives of 189 nations at the Fourth World Conference on Women adopted a sweeping Declaration and Platform for Action aimed at launching a global campaign to bring women into full and equal participation in all spheres of public and private life worldwide. “The Platform for Action is an agenda for women’s empowerment,” states the first line of the Conference’s main document. “This means that the principle of shared power and responsibility should be established between women and men at home, in the workplace and in the wider national and international communities. Equality between women and men is a matter of human rights and a condition for social justice and is also a necessary and fundamental prerequisite for equality, development and peace.” The 1995 Conference will adopt a “Platform for Action”, analyzing obstacles to women’s advancement and recommending steps for overcoming them. Both that document, and the preparatory work leading up to the Conference at the national and regional levels, are intended to mobilize society to meet the challenges and demands of the next century.
There is no law that prohibits women from ac quiring loans from banks or other financial institutions. Women’s associations and clubs have played a great role in assisting women to finance their income generating projects. Women’s group like Indigenous Women’s Organisation, Women in Business and Skills Building, Multi-million Dollar Round Table have all played pivotal roles in bringing more women into the econo my as players to be reckoned with. The government through the MYDGEC is making in roads into the economic empowerment of women. The Gender Department received its own budget of $Zim800 million as opposed to previous years where it used to rely on vira ments to carry out gender awareness programs. The Ministry further allocated $14 million for women economic empowerment projects. The funds will be used to institutionalise the National Gender Policy, which was approved by Cabinet in February 2001. Nevertheless MYDGEC got the smallest vote in the 2003 budget of $Zim4 351 718 000 which is 0.7% of the total national budget of which it is too small considering the fact that women who are the majority i.e. 52% of the total population are supposed to be the major beneficiaries.