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– Chronicle

Africa Day is intended to celebrate and acknowledge the successes of the Organisation of African Unity (now African Union) from its creation on May 25, 1963 in the fight against colonialism and apartheid.

It is meant to show the progress that Africa has made, while reflecting upon the common challenges that the continent still faces in a global environment.

Yesterday voices of key female actors from different professions highlighted the importance of Africa Day.

Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa said Africa Day in Zimbabwe holds a special place in the sacrifice for freedom, democracy and independence.

“We are where we are today as a free country because Africa stood by us, and we fought a bitter war to final victory. Hence as Zimbabwean women we share this auspicious occasion with our sisters across the continent,

“In the war against colonialism, racism and settler minority rule, women fought side-by-side with their male counterparts. Along the way we removed the bondage of patriarchy and other gender prejudices that stood in the way of women throughout history.

“On this day, we celebrate the achievement of women in the tremendous progress of the girl child in the task of nation building,”

she said.

“There are still challenges to overcome but we have the comfort that the goal of gender equality shall be achieved. After all most of our Constitution now enshrines the tenets of equal opportunities across the gender divide,”

she said.

“The recent signing of the Africa Free Trade Area agreement holds so much promise of economic prosperity and African women will be right there with their male counterparts! Long live Africa,”

said Minister Mutsvangwa.

Labour, Economists and African Democrats leader Ms Linda Masarira said Africa Day is intended to celebrate and acknowledge African solidarity, unity in diversity, creativity, challenges and successes.

“Women need to occupy their space in Africa to ensure that they nurture this continent to unite in our diversity, to have a strong council of African women that will restore Africa’s identity and the dignity of women in Africa.

“Before colonisation, women were well respected in African communities and we even had women Pharaohs, the Queen Nzingas, Queen Shebas, powerful women spirit mediums like Mbuya Nehanda.”

“As we celebrate Africa Day let us remember to celebrate all the women who made life a reality and respect their opinions,”

said Ms Masarira.

Mrs Rebecca Chisamba, the host of Mai Chisamba’s show, encouraged women not to look down upon themselves.

“Let us not look down upon ourselves as women, let us not doubt our abilities, let us not hesitate to take high profile jobs. What men can do women can also do, we have been liberated.“I am encouraging all women not to bleach their skin. We are beautiful as Africans.

“Let us not imitate Western countries. If we want to imitate let us imitate the good things,”

she said.

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