via Gender Commission Bill gazetted – DailyNews Live 28 July 2014 by Lloyd Mbiba
HARARE – Government has gazetted the Zimbabwe Gender Commission Bill, paving the way for the statute to be brought before the National Assembly for debate.
The bill, which was carried in the Government Gazette published on Friday, seeks to establish a nine-member commission whose primary role will be to mainstream gender equality in both private and public institutions.
“To provide for the establishment of the Zimbabwe Gender Commission to perform specified functions, including investigating and making of recommendations on the removal of barriers to the attainment of full gender quality; and to provide for matter connected with or incidental to the foregoing,” reads the preamble of the bill.
The bill also seeks to meet the country’s international obligations.
“It also seeks to fulfil international and regional instruments that Zimbabwe is a party to, namely: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (Cedaw) and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action,” reads the explanatory memorandum of the bill.
The functions of the commission would include, among others, monitoring issues concerning gender equality to ensure gender equality as provided for in the Constitution, investigating possible violations of rights relating to gender, advising public and private institutions on steps to be taken to ensure gender equality and recommending prosecution of criminal violations of rights relating to gender.
Also, the commission will conduct research and recommend changes to laws and practices that lead to gender discrimination based on gender.
Further, the commission will receive and consider complaints from the public and to take such action in regard to the complaints as it considers appropriate.
The commission, in addition, may through the appropriate minister submit reports to Parliament for the august House’s attention.
In September last year, soon after her appointment, Women’s Affairs and Gender Development minister, Oppah Muchinguri, said her ministry would immediately come up with a Gender Commission to ensure gender balance in all social sectors.
She said the commission would work towards attaining 50:50 percent gender representation in decision-making positions.