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Source: the Herald
ZIMBABWE has been implored to ensure its new Constitution enshrines gender equality and women's equal participation in decision-making. Genderlinks chief executive officer Ms Colleen Lowe Morna said in an interview that Zimbabwe's greatest opportunity in addressing gender disparities was in the new Constitution.

She was speaking on the sidelines of the first Zimbabwe Gender Justice Local Government Summit and Awards that ended in Kadoma last Friday.

The summit resolved to advocate speedy implementation of the 50-50 equal representation by 2015.

The rallying slogan of the summit was "365 days of local action to end violence and empower women".

Delegates to the summit agreed that since Zimbabwe signed and ratified the Sadc protocol on gender and development, mechanisms should be employed to ensure women's equal participation in all areas of decision making by 2015.

"The best way of doing so is through special measures written into the constitution that will redress the historical imbalance between women and men in all areas of decision making."

The summit also called on all Zimbabweans to join hands in reducing gender-based violence by 2015.

The call resonates with one of the 28 targets set by SADC under the Gender and Development Protocol.

The Sadc gender protocol is a roadmap to achieving the millennium development goals.

During the summit some 53 entrants both men and women showcased work happening in their local communities that aimed at bringing gender parity in the workplace and in decision making.

There were 10 categories namely institutional change, leadership, youth leadership, support, response, prevention of gender based violence, HIV and Aids, and care work, gender and governance, local economic development and climate change. Winners in these categories will go to Johannesburg South Africa next month to showcase their work during the regional summit.

The summit was attended by councillors, council officials, government ministers, NGOs and journalists.

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