By Takudzwa Changadeya
Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development- Sithembiso Nyoni and Jobst von KIRCHMANN, EU ambassador on Monday launched the Team Europe Initiative on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (TEI – GEWE).
The initiative mobilises all EU Member States and Switzerland to support gender equality and women empowerment with over 200 million euros in line with the objectives of the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS-1).
“Gender equality is one of the core principles among the European Union founding values and is both a priority and a goal for Zimbabwe and the European Union,” said H.E Jobst von Kirchmann, at the ceremony of partnership.
“We are delighted to see the EU as a partner in our efforts to strengthen the role of women in our society as set in the NDS-1,” said Hon. Sithembiso G.G. Nyoni.
The Team Europe Initiative on gender equality and women empowerment is aimed at fostering a society which is free of Gender Based Violence, where women can play an active
roles in their communities, in politics and in decision making processes.
The initiative will also mobilise financial resources to allow women to start their own businesses so as to empower them.
The launch of this initiative marks also the beginning of a policy Dialogue on gender equality and women empowerment between the Government of Zimbabwe and the Team Europe Ambassadors who have joined forces under the Team Europe Initiative (Sweden, Ireland, The Netherlands, France, Germany and the European Union, joined by Switzerland).
The Dialogue, which will take three months, allows the partners to exchange and mutually understand their vision and priorities.
Team Europe and Switzerland have the ambition to fully operationalise existing constitutional and policy commitments thus supporting gender equality and women empowerment.
The total financial support for the Team Europe Initiative adds up to more than EUR 209 million (contributions in millions of Euro include: EU-EUR106 million, Sweden 61,3, Switzerland 17, Germany 17, Ireland 4,5, The Netherland 2’5, France 1,5) and includes all programmes and related activities