Sweden pours US$420K to encourage women participation in governance processes

 By Buhle Tshavango

Swedish Embassy has partnered with local organisations in a US$420 000 project dubbed Strengthening Women’s Advocacy for inclusive Governance (SWAG).

SWAG which was officially launched yesterday is aimed at supporting women’s participation in democratic processes and governance covering pre and post-election period.

The project which 18 months-long and comes at a time when the country is gearing towards the much-hyped 2018 general election will see organisations such as Gender and Media Connect (GMC), Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU) and Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ) mobilizing women within provinces and ensuring that related governance structures incorporate women’s needs as voters and candidates.

WCoZ said the project will seek to strengthen women’s participation in both local national governance processes.

“SWAG will ascertain the status of women’s governance and electoral participation in Zimbabwe and strengthen women’s capacities to participate in local and national governance processes, including the 2018 election processes.

“The project also aims to lobby and advocate for equal participation in governance electoral processes, facilitate platforms and provide an information hub and build a profile bank of women in leadership,” said WCoZ.

SWAG is expected to benefit about one million women directly and two million indirectly and the three organizations GMC, RAU and WCoZ will hold actors accountable for women’s rights through collective action.

Swedish Ambassador to Zimbabwe Her Excellency Sofia Calltorp said this project is important to Sweden as it is a feminist country with a feminist foreign policy.

“Sweden is proud to be a feminist country with a feminist foreign policy and we believe that the equal participation of women in all aspects of society is key to the sustainable development of any society and that is why we are very happy to be able to contribute to the empowerment of women in Zimbabwe”, said Ambassador Calltorp.

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