Workshop on the Relationship between Gender Equality and Human Rights

Last week, 12-16 February 2024, the RWI-Harare in cooperation with Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC), conducted a training on the relationship between human rights and gender equality, for ZGC secretariat staff. The ZGC has recently decentralised its operations to four new provincial offices and has subsequently recruited more staff, at the same time as it has also increased its staff at the Head Office and Matabeleland Regional Office, where the Commission was already operating. The workshop was wholly constituted by newly recruited staff members, and it formed part of their general induction programme. The objective was to increase knowledge on the relationship between human rights and gender equality and how to address this in the work of ZGC, primarily in the operationalisation of the Zimbabwe Gender Commission Act (Chapter 10:31).

A total of 25 ZGC secretariat staff participated in the workshop, representing a variety of departments and functions, such as research, programming, public education, legal services, public relations, monitoring and evaluation, and complaints handling and investigation.

The training was facilitated by different local independent human rights consultants, lecturers from academic institutions and practitioners other independent commissions and civil society, presenting the different learning components on gender equality and human rights. The topics included, among others, International and Regional Instruments on Human Rights of Women and Gender Equality, operationalisation of the National Constitutional and Legal Frameworks on Gender Equality and Human Rights in practice, Intersectionality and Multiple Forms of Discrimination and Research Methods, Data Collection and Analysis for Gender Equality Issues. Plenty of time was devoted to practical exercises with participants, inter alia, had to reflect on necessary legislative reforms  that would align current laws with relevant provisions in the 2013 Constitution, thus contributing to a  higher degree of gender equality in Zimbabwe.

The participants welcomed the training, which, although only scraping on the surface, contributed to increase their knowledge on international, regional and national standards and mechanisms for the promotion and protection of human rights in general and on human rights of women and gender equality in particular, and how to apply the newly acquired knowledge in practice in their day to day work at ZGC

The workshop was the second of this kind and forms part of a broader cooperation between RWI and ZGC under the RWI Zimbabwe Human Rights Capacity Development Programme funded by Sweden.

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