MASVINGO – At least 100 international and local delegates were in Victoria Falls this week to attend an international conference on gender and poverty which was organised by the Great Zimbabwe University (GZU).
The two-day workshop put together by Nehanda Centre for Gender and Cultural Studies, which ran from May 15 to May 16, 2017 is a think-tank for academics to do research and come up with ways of eradicating poverty across the Globe.
It was officially opened by the Deputy Minister of Women's Affairs, Gender and Community Development Abgail Damasane.
The theme of the workshop was "Breaking the Nexus between Gender and Poverty."
The keynote speaker, Dr Caroline Sweetman from the University of Oxford spoke on Gender and development in line with the theme and stated that economic inequality was increasing globally especially in the Global North. She highlighted the key factors as the feminisation of labour and responsibilities in women and thus echoed that there was a need for social change.
Delegates came from as far as America, Nigeria, South Africa and from local teachers' colleges, polytechnic colleges, universities, Government and Non Governmental Organisations.
Damasane thanked the Vice Chancellor of Great Zimbabwe University Prof Rungano Zvobgo for facilitating the research forum which said resonated with 2016 Sustainable Development Goals and the Zimbabwe National Economic Blue-print, ZIMASSET.
Dr Sweetman highlighted that crisis in masculinities lay in job losses or unemployment and this led to domestic violence. She gave a case of Lesotho masculinities that lost jobs in South Africa and proved to be very violent to their female counterparts. She said this was job losses created poverty and poverty generated violence.
"In order to break the Gender poverty-nexus, women need equality, education, employment, marital and family relations," said Sweetman.
An academic journal will be published from the papers presented at the workshop. GZU Pro Vice Chancellor, Dr Andrew Chindanya was expected to officially expected to close the workshop.