Stories about IYWD's involvement with young women in the community

Statement on Heroines/ Heroes Day and Defence Forces Day in Zimbabwe.

The Institute for Young Women’s Development (IYWD) joins the rest of Zimbabwe in celebrating

two remarkable public holidays, “Heroines/Heroines Day” and “Defence Forces Day”. It is not a

coincidence that these two holidays are synchronously celebrated as their significance is intertwined.

We pay tribute to the Heroines and Heroes of this country who sacrificed themselves for

the greater freedom of the motherland.

In particular, we salute the customarily unsung contribution

of the young women, women and girls that substantially contributed to the liberation struggle,

both as front liners and non-frontlines. The proactive role of women to ensure survival, agility

and resilience during the times of the liberation struggle is a phenomenon that we salute today.

While we celebrate, we implore the government to implement the Constitution to bring into life

fundamental freedoms and rights of Zimbabwean women and men as sought by the departed and

living gallant daughters and sons of the soil. We crave a society where the efforts of our Heroines

and Heroes are acknowledged through an open and democratic society that is grounded in upholding

human rights for both women and men.

Remembering the injustices and atrocities committed by the uniformed forces resulting in loss of

life among civilians, during the 1 August 2018 Post Elections Shootings where six (6) people were

killed in cold blood and over over sixty (60) more people were brutally assaulted. We call upon the

Government of Zimbabwe to follow through and implement the Mothlante Commission Report

and deliver the much awaited justice to the victims of the 1 August 2018 shootings. We aspire to

live in a society in which every citizen enjoys their socio-economic, civil and political rights and

freedoms our Heroines and Heroes envisaged through their combat in the armed struggle.

We also encourage the government to construct an environment that is conducive for both men

and women to serve in the Defence Forces through gender sensitive policies. Managing diversity

and promoting gender inclusion in response to a diversified society is vital in the national security

structures. In addition, we urge the Defence Forces to protect its citizens as per their Constitutional


To Zimbabwe as a whole, let us rejoice by doing our part in ensuring the safety, inclusion and protection

of the young women, women and girls within our respective communities. Key to note is

desisting from any form of violence against women and girls who aspire to take part in the decision

making and governance processes at all levels. Zimbabwe is our home and it is our duty to make it

a state of the art democracy that we wish for.