UN Zimbabwe Gender Thematic Working Group concludes retreat

The United Nations Gender Thematic Working Group (GTWG) in Zimbabwe concluded its 2-day retreat on 24 May 2022. The UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSA) was represented at the Retreat by its Deputy Gender Focal Point, Mrs Fridah Manenji. During the retreat, the Working Group reviewed its terms of reference aligning them to the Zimbabwe United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (ZUNSDCF). It also reflected on modalities to implement the new United Nations Country Team (UNCT) Gender Mainstreaming Strategy and developed its 2022 Annual Work plan.

The Gender Thematic Working Group also discussed and finalized the mapping exercise for the UN Zimbabwe gender interventions for 2022 and shared current information on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (GEWE) as part of information management and sharing and capacity building for the GTWG members.

The United Nations in Zimbabwe is committed to achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment, in line with national development priorities and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially SDG5. The UNCT conducted a gender analysis for the Common Country Analysis (CCA) 2020/2021 with a view to mainstream gender and ensure availability of sex disaggregated data and gender sensitive information for the development of the ZUNSDCF. The CCA prioritised Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment and identified key groups that were are lagging or considered to be at risk of being left behind, and that included women.

The Zimbabwe United Nations Sustainable Development Framework (2022-2026) effectively mainstreams gender in all the four pillars (People, Prosperity, Planet and Peace), at outcome and output levels and additionally prioritizes gender equality as a cross -cutting issue for the Cooperation Framework as per the Theory of Change (ToC).

The Gender Thematic Working Group (GTWG) has its origins in the broader framework of United Nations (UN) reform processes and in the global normative framework for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. In line with the General Assembly’s 2020 resolution on the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR, A/75/233), accelerating progress on gender equality is a core function of UNCTs. Furthermore, the UN Secretary General has also mandated the UNCT to advance GEWE through the UNCT Gender Equality Accountability Scorecard with a clear requirement for reporting.

The UNCT in Zimbabwe has systematically committed to advancing GEWE through deliberate measures and mechanism including strategies, frameworks, and relevant institutional mechanisms such as the GTWG. The GTWG in Zimbabwe plays an important role in advancing GEWE within the context of the UN Secretary Generals Mandate for gender equality and women’s empowerment and plays a central role in the provision of strategic support and advice to UNCT for effective implementation of GEWE and the achievement of SDG 5 on gender equality in line with the new Cooperation Framework and the UN Reforms, and GEWE Conventions and resolutions. The mandate of the GTWG is guided and supported by the UNCT.

As part of moving the new agenda forward, UNCT seeks to strengthen its Technical Working and Results Groups including the GTWG. The GTWG is expected to spearhead the operationalization of the UNCT gender equality obligations through the UNSDCF, UNCT Gender Mainstreaming Strategy and the UNCT Gender Equality Scorecard Annual Work plan.