Equal Participation of Women and Men in Cultural Expressions
: Keeping abreast with global trends, particularly those falling under the realm of the UN, UNESCO included, the State Party adopted affirmative action that promotes women participation on an equal footing with men in all spheres of life. In some instances, entry requirements in institutions of higher learning are crafted to promote women participation. The area of cultural expression, critically the performing arts genre for long periods was viewed as a predominantly male domain and women who ventured into it were classified as people of loose morals. This measure was also designed to quell this misplaced notion. Accordingly, the women folk enjoy equal opportunities like their male counterparts in all spheres of life, be it economic, social or political. In pursuit of this measure, infrastructure for cultural expressions is being upgraded to meet the minimum requirements that ensure full participation of the women folk in that area. Another intention of the measure is to have cultural expression programmers and activities being spearheaded by women. Zimbabwe now has women ensembles in dance, theatre and other genres of the arts. All female dance groups have become a permanent feature on entertainment circuits, bolstering the participation of women in cultural expressions. The visual arts sector, particularly the craft and fashion disciplines are largely dominated by women and it is another intention of this measure to upscale the participation of women in such fields.
This measure is further buttressed by provisions of the Gender Equality Policy and the Domestic Violence Act. These two pieces of legislation besides criminalizing gender violence and violence against women provide fertile ground for effective women empowerment. The measure also deliberately assumes an all inclusive approach where all women benefit; marginalised women, women living with disabilities, women facing life limiting illnesses, oppressed women and young women and girls in all situations. The girl child in particular is the target of tailor-made programmes and activities whose implementation is the responsibility of the State Party and a large number of civil society organisations. The measure vigorously fights for the rights of the women in education, including arts and culture education. This measure proved to be a master-stroke in fighting male bigotry in the field of the arts. Through the narrow-mindedness of a male-dominated, the participation of the women folk in cultural expressions was hampered and this measure is a panacea to this problem. Equal opportunities for both sexes in the creative sector with zero tolerance to discrimination and preconceived ideas define the thrust of the measure.
: Women constitute 52% of the State Party’s population. Besides, women play a central role in family life, communities and ultimately the entire nation. They are the custodians of the socialization process that introduces children to socially acceptable values and beliefs. Arguably, women occupy a central role in inculcating cultural expression values in children. The family unit, a critical component of cultural life and its attendant expressions is nurtured generally by women. Through this measure, the following are the expected results:
- Equal opportunities for women and men, particularly in the creative sector.
- Total emancipation and empowerment of women socially, economically and politically.
- Zero discrimination in all spheres of life based on gender.
- Elevation of women status at all levels of society.
- Identification and nurturing of women’s innate artistic talent at whatever level on equal footing with that of men.
- Ensuring the State Party’s involvement in the promotion of current transversal issues at any given time.
Treasury allocation for ministries responsible for women affairs, including health and education.