Great Zimbabwe University (GZU)’s Nehanda Centre for Gender and Cultural Studies has organised an International Gender Conference under the theme “Breaking the Nexus between Gender and Poverty.”
The two-day conference, being held at the Elephant Hills Hotel in Victoria Falls has attracted over a hundred local, regional and international delegates.
The conference was officially opened by the Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development Abigail Damasane who thanked GZU Vice Chancellor Professor Rungano Zvobgo for facilitating the important research forum.
The forum brings together academics to do research and come up with ways of eradicating world poverty and such ideas are not only part of the 2016 Sustainable Development Goals but resonate well with the Zimbabwe’s own economic blueprint ZimAsset.
“The conference is ongoing and academics are sharing ideas as well as presenting papers whereupon a research journal will be published for academic purposes and ideas expanded in order to ensure that the nexus between Gender and Poverty is broken,” said the conference director and organiser, E.F Zvobgo.
Speaking during the official opening, Damasane urged academics to not only conduct research but augment them with practical and policy-oriented approaches in advancing gender issues and eradicating poverty.
She said that the government of Zimbabwe places high importance on research forums of that nature.
The keynote speaker is Dr Caroline Sweetman from the University of Oxford and it has delegates from as far as America, Nigeria, South Africa and from local Teacher’s Colleges, polytechnics, universities and NGOs.
Dr Sweetman spoke on gender and development in line with the theme and stated that economic inequality was increasing globally especially in the Global North.
She said the feminisation of labour was a key factor and emphasised the need for social change.
She said crises in masculinities lie in job losses or unemployment, leading to domestic violence.
“In order to break the gender – poverty nexus, women need equality, education, employment, marital and family relations,” Dr Sweetman said.
Director for Research and Post Graduate Studies Professor P. Gwirayi said he was very humbled by the response the initiative had generated.
GZU Pro-Vice Chancellor Dr Andrew Chindanya, who will officially close the conference, applauded participants for having the initiative to push forward an agenda for sustainable development with a particular view to ending poverty.local