Women are not taking full advantage of empowerment programmes that Government is putting in place to address economic gender imbalances. This was said by Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development Permanent Secretary Mrs Evelyn Ndlovu at the Women in Energy Zimbabwe Conference held at HICC this past week.
"There are various funds that have been set aside for women to access capital from various institutions but the uptake is slow. Women need to take advantage of the opportunities availed by Government," said Mrs Ndlovu.
The conference was convened by Zimbabwe Energy Regulation Authority as "part of a series of a robust engagement with key stakeholders aimed at sharing experiences, exploring policy and legal provisions and gaps in respect of women's participation in the energy sector mindful of the vast potential that women have insofar as increasing access to modern energy and catalysing economic activities at different levels is concerned," according to conference literature.
Minister of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development Nyasha Chikwinya pointed out that women need to get into the energy sector as they are the most affected by the lack of modern energy sources.
Other speakers included Energy and Power Development Deputy Minister Tsitsi Muzenda, who said that her ministry is focused on empowering women to become players in the energy sector.
ZERA CEO Dr Engineer Gloria Magombo said that there are plans to make the conference a regular event at two year intervals following the success of the inaugural edition.
Women of Africa Fuels and Oils CEO Advocate Pria Hassan shared other women's experience from the perspective of her Durban based company.
Over 400 women attended the two day conference