The President of Zimbabwe, His Excellence Dr E.D Mnangagwa officiated at the official launch of the High-Level Political Compact on ending Gender Based Violence and Harmful Practice in Zimbabwe. The launch of the compact is a key milestone in Zimbabwe’s journey towards the realization of gender equality and respect for the rights of women and girls. It is indeed a crucial step in ensuring that women and girls realize their full potential in a violence-free, gender-responsive and inclusive Zimbabwe.
The HLPC official launch and signing ceremony officiated by the President of Zimbabwe, was attended by Vice President Dr Chiwenga, Honourable Sithembiso Nyoni, the minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Honourable Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Minister of Defence, Security and War Veteran's, Senior Government official, the UN Resident Coordinator Ms. Maria Ribeiro, Ambassador Timo Olkkonen, Head of UN agencies, President of the Chiefs’ Council of Zimbabwe, Development Partners, Representatives of CSOs, religious and tradition leaders. The stakeholders in attendance reaffirmed their commitment in ending GBV in Zimbabwe.
The proclamation and signing of this High-Level Political Compact set Zimbabwe as the only country under the Global Spotlight Initiative that has managed to launch and operationalize a multi-sectoral and high-level compact on elimination of VAWG. The compact will stand out as a model and a good practice that other countries will seek to learn from and replicate within their jurisdiction.
Speaking at the launch and signing ceremony, Ambassador Timo Olkkonen, the EU Head of Delegation in Zimbabwe noted that, “the compact is a comprehensive document on ending GBV in Zimbabwe which makes provision on budgetary elements, service provision, law and policy, and institutional frameworks on ending GBV. The solution to ending GBV lies with all of us, lets ensure no one is left behind”
Aligned to the Ambassadors’ remarks, the HLPC is a multisectoral, inclusive and strategic initiative that is premised on a national declaration and commitments by the highest level of Government, Independent Commissions, CSOs, UN family, development partners and all stakeholders in the national GBV machinery to place the elimination of all forms of GBV/HP as a national development issue. The main aim of the Compact is to promote continued political commitment and engagement of leaders at the highest level in a comprehensive response to VAWG.
Acknowledging the challenges, progress and positive impact in the national response to GBV, the President of Zimbabwe stated that “Today, we recommit ourselves by making a declaration through the HLPC on GBV/HPs. It is my conviction that accelerated, adaptive and innovative implementation of global, regional and national commitments as outlined in the Action Plan of this HLPC will lead to our ultimate aspiration of a Gender Based Violence free society by 2030”.
In her remarks at the HLPC launch, the UN Resident Coordinator Ms. Maria Ribeiro commended the President and the government of Zimbabwe for launching the compact which Compact will shape national conversations on how best to increase financial investment for GBV, increase GBV prevention services, and reduce the immense health, legal and productivity costs that the country continues to incur because of Gender based Violence.
Echoing similar sentiments, the Honourable Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Dr Sthembiso Nyoni highlighted that “the launch of this compact has come at a very opportune time as the country is working towards accomplishing the vision 2030 through the Sustainable Development Goals especially goal number 5 where we seek to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. The HLPC presents to us a renewed energy and renewed focus towards ensuring that we have a society that is free from GBV”.
The HLPC was officially launched by the president and signed by key stakeholders who include the President of Zimbabwe representing the government, Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Gender Commission representing Independent Commissions, UN Resident Coordinator representing the UN, EU Ambassador on behalf of development partners, Chairperson of the National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations on behalf of CSOs, President of the Chiefs’ Council of Zimbabwe on behalf of traditional leaders, and the Patron of the Zimbabwe Indigenous Interdenominational Council of Churches on behalf of religious leaders.
The focus henceforth will be on the full operationalization and implementation of the HLPC commitments and action plan by all stakeholders in the national GBV response machinery. The government and relevant stakeholders will commence the popularization of the compact and its content, undertake inception and technical planning sessions to operationalize the action plan, and start the implementation and monitoring processes as per set timeframes in both the action plan and monitoring framework.
The implementation of the HLPC will effectively contribute to the advancement of gender equality, women empowerment, promotion of women’s rights, strengthening the coordination mechanism, enactment of laws and policies on the scourge of GBV, foster multi-sectoral collaboration and grassroot engagement, including with private sector, and civil society in ending violence against women and girls in Zimbabwe.