Zimbabwe gets €209 million EU women empowerment grant

HARARE – Zimbabwean women are set to benefit from a €209 million (US$220 million) European Union empowerment grant extended to the country through the Women Affairs Ministry.

The so-christened Team Europe Initiative mobilises financial resources from all European Union member states and Switzerland.

In a joint statement with the European Union, Women Affairs, Community, Small, and Medium Enterprises Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni said the initiative will go a long way in promoting equality for Zimbabwean women and girls.

“The Team Europe Initiative on gender equality and women empowerment supports Zimbabwean women towards a society which is free of Gender Based Violence, where women can play an active role in their communities, in politics, and in decision-making processes.

“The initiative will also mobilise financial resources to allow them to start their own businesses,” she said.

The programme was launched on Monday in Harare.

European Union Ambassador to Zimbabwe Jobst von Kirchman said women’s development through promoting gender equality was a top priority to the bloc.

“Gender equality is one of the core principles among the European Union founding values and is both a priority and a goal for Zimbabwe and the European Union,” he said.

The grant is set to buttress provisions of the country’s constitution which provides for equal representation of women and men in all positions.

However, due to inadequate implementation of the constitutional provision and the lack of financial resources to operationalise the clauses, women empowerment remains at a low.

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