The Sunday Mail
Sunday Mail Correspondent
ZIMBABWE is actively working towards bridging gender gaps that exist in innovation and technological advancement, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Senator Monica Mutsvangwa has said.
Speaking at the 67th session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York recently, Sen Mutsvangwa informed delegates that Zimbabwe had a progressive Constitution that promotes gender equality.
“Zimbabwe has ratified and continues to implement key instruments that provide for gender equality across all sectors. To actualise this commitment, the national economic blueprint — the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS 1) — prioritises acceleration and intensification of the implementation of information and communications technology (ICT) systems in both the public and private sectors,” she said.
“To this end, the Government of Zimbabwe has ensured existing policies provide an enabling framework for women and girls’ access to use of ICTs through the establishment of CICs (community information centres) in both urban and rural areas, with free training and access to electronic resources.”
Government, she said, was instituting legislation that protects the rights of women and girls while empowering them to be innovative. Efforts were also being made to ensure increased involvement of women and girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) through mentorship programmes, science camps and scholarships.
“In addition, the Data Protection Act provides for the protection of women and girls from cyber bullying, among other provisions.
“The Smart Zimbabwe 2030 Master Plan has been put in place to increase the usage of ICTs across sectors regardless of geographical location, economic status or gender.
“In the education sector, Zimbabwe introduced the Education 5.0 policy, which is equipping graduates from institutions of higher learning with skills that empower them to be innovative through transformative science and technology,” she said.
Zimbabwe, Sen Mutsvangwa told delegates, has since established virtual courts in all the country’s 10 provinces.
“The system allows for electronic accessibility of court processes and facilitates a paperless case management system. This has the effect of making the justice delivery system affordable, transparent, speedy and accountable by limiting the paper filings, thereby protecting interests of witnesses and reducing backlog of pending cases. “Most importantly, it reduces the frequency of movement for witnesses and survivors who previously had to frequent the courts for the finalisation, incurring a huge monetary burden on families,” she said.