20.06.2019 - UNESCO Office in Harare

UNPRPD capacitates Zimbabwe’s human rights institutions on sexual and reproductive health rights and disability rights for women and girls

The Capacity building workshop for Zimbabwe’s national human rights institutions on sexual gender based violence (SGBV), harmful practices (HP), sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) and disability rights for women and girls kicked off in Harare on 18th June 2019 and is expected to end on 20th June 2019.

The workshop which has been organised by UN Agencies implementing the United Nations Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD) project and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) brought together, members of the ZHRC, the Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC), different technical working groups, Disabled Persons Organizations, Disability Service Organizations as well as  beneficiaries.

Delivering her keynote address during the official opening of the workshop, the Deputy Chairperson of the ZHRC, Commissioner Dr. Ellen Sithole, said the Commission has a dual mandate to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms. She highlighted that the commitment to promote and enforce the rights of Persons with Disabilities (PWDS) as enumerated in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) must be fully integrated into Zimbabwe’s legal framework to adequately protect these rights.

The workshop proceeded with a presentation on the background of the UNPRPD project by Ms. Memory Zulu, the Project Co-ordinator from UNESCO. This was followed by presentations on SGBV, HP and SRHR by Dr.  Loveness Makonese and Ms. Penelope Kasere from UNFPA. The presentations opened up discussions on SRHR issues surrounding women and girls with disabilities.

Key issues from the discussion included the need for more disability disaggregated data on SGBV. Participants also pointed out that there is a lack of accessible formats for information on SRHR in indigenous languages creating barriers for Zimbabwean women and girls with disabilities.  The importance of engaging families to address harmful cultural practises was also emphasised.

The aim of the capacity building workshop is to strengthen knowledge on the CRPD and raise awareness on SGBV, HP and SRHR issues affecting women and girls with disabilities in Zimbabwe. The training is being carried out within the framework of the UNPRPD Initiative which seeks to promote the rights of persons with disabilities and the implementation of the CRPD.

For more information, please contact: m.zulu@unesco.org.

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