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VISET International Women’s Day Statement – Count Her in: Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress

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  • VISET International Women’s Day Statement – Count Her in: Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress

As we celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day under the theme Count her in: Invest in Women Accelerate progress, we are sending heartfelt wishes to all the exceptional women informal economy workers (IEW) the world over. We stand in solidarity with you as we strive for a future where all women are empowered, respected, and can reach their full potential.

Women in the informal economy face economic, social, cultural, and regulatory challenges that continue to affect their ability to reach full potential. Their economic activities are undervalued and overlooked but their resilience, determination, and unwavering spirit in the face of challenges are an inspiration to us all. Today we honor your contribution and reaffirm our commitment to supporting and empowering women in the informal economy. We recognize that gender equality and women’s rights are essential for sustainable development and inclusive society. For women IEWs this year’s theme calls for increased investment in women in the informal economy to move gender equality forward. There should be improved access to finance, providing entrepreneurship training, social protection, access to profitable markets and mentorship to enhance capacity development.

We at Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET), through the Informal Economy Women’s Hub (INEWOH) continue to advocate for policies and initiatives that address the specific challenges faced by women in the informal economy, recognizing diversity and inclusion as fundamental principles that should guide gender equality. It is important to ensure that the voices of the marginalized groups within the informal economy, including women with disabilities and youth are represented in decision-making processes.

Furthermore, we acknowledge and recognise the work done thus far by the Government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Public Service Labour and Social Welfare and the broader informal economy ecosystem to ensure that there is a draft formalisation strategy document for Zimbabwe which is now awaiting cabinet approval. We are convinced that an inclusive and democratic formalisation process will go a long way in transforming the prosperities of women informal workers. The commitment and level of participation shown by women informal workers during the consultative stages of the process brings hope to a sector that has suffered a lot as a result of lack of recognition and support from the government and local authorities.

As Zimbabwe currently stares at one of the worst droughts in recent years, with over 2.7 million people in need of food aid, it is important to guard against early child marriages, and we call upon greater society, and the nation’s justice system to deliver harsh sentences on perpetrators, whilst ensuring that mitigation of climate change and food aid is delivered to every household and village without discrimination.

Unpaid Care and Domestic Work is an albatross around the neck of women and girls, and we are pleased that Parliament has begun to take this obstacle on, at policy level through consultations. VISET and its partners will continue all efforts to ensure that progress is accelerated on this and all other fronts that result in a fully empowered woman and girl child!

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