27 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Women Urged to Improve Their Skills

Photo: IRIN
File Photo:Women collect firewood in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Government has reaffirmed its commitment to achieving equitable development by supporting women's empowerment. In a speech read on her behalf by the Media, Information and Publicity Minister Webster Shamu during the graduation of more that 300 women at New Life Covenant Church in Harare recently, Women's Affairs, Gender and Community Development Minister Dr Olivia Muchena called upon women to remain resolute and committed to improving their skills.

"It is easier for us to support trained groups than uninitiated ones," she said.

The graduates went though a five-day internal savings and lending course, which included training on groups and leadership, record-keeping and individual self-screening.

Through the training programme, women were taught to initiate, plan and execute their economic empowerment projects.

The initiative is part of the Broad Based Women's Economic Empowerment Framework launched by President Mugabe at the beginning of the year.

Minister Muchena called on women to learn the art of proper financial literacy.

"It has proved that without a culture of saving, a nation cannot achieve sustainable development hence it is very important for you to put into practice what you have learnt.

"Decide what you want to achieve as individuals and as a group save for it," she said.

Mr Temba Chikandiwa, the programme facilitator said the programme was pivotal in improving the livelihood of women in the country.

"We taught the women how to put their own resources together, and establish localised banks where members of the cluster can borrow at agreed interest rates.

"Most people can't borrow from the bank because of collateral security and the only way is for them to map out ways of helping themselves,' he said.

More than 1 000 women from various social clusters have since graduated since the course's inception.

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