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Zimbabwean women continue defy the odds

The story of Maud Chifamba is one of overcoming adversity and surpassing what the average person would call limits. At 18, she became the youngest student to graduate at the University of Zimbabwe having enrolled for a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting at the age of 14. While she was graduating in college, her peers were graduating from high school.

As part of the International Women’s Day, Zimbabwe’s premier business and financial weekly, Business Times, profiles women who have ignored the limits and excelled in business, sports, politics and academia.

Sadza brings Hope to women

When Hope Sadza was a Public Service Commissioner, she noticed the inequalities in accessing jobs between men and women.

Together with former Education minister, Fay Chung, they cofounded Women University in Africa (WUA) with a specific mandate to address gender disparity and foster equity in university education.

WUA says its enrollment policy of 85 percent women and 15 percent men is contributing towards the 50:50 gender participation enunciated in the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development.

Two years on, ZOU can’t find another Primrose Since the death of Professor Primrose

Kurasha in 2017, the Zimbabwe Open University is struggling to find the right candidate to fill the void. This has forced the institution to re-advertise the post after applicants who responded to an earlier advertisement failed to make the cut.

Muradzikwa leaves Grace at NicozDiamond

In the insurance industry, Grace Muradzikwa is a giant who left a mark at NicozDiamond.

The executive left at the end of last month after 16 years at the helm.

Muradzikwa was appointed general manager of Diamond Insurance Company in 1995 with the responsibility of turning around the company which ranked 12 out of 13 insurers.

By 1997, she had turned it around to number 3 out of 20 companies. In October 2002, she oversaw the merger of Nicoz and Diamond to form NicozDiamond the largest short-term insurance company in the country.

She then became the first black female executive to list and head a publicly traded company in the country.

A gift to TelOne

Since taking over the reins at TelOne in 2013, business executive Chipo Mtasa has transformed the telecoms firm. The State-owned entity held its first annual general meeting in 2016. Mindful of the obstacles the girl child faces, TelOne introduced a year-long mentorship programme which consists of training leadership development, ICT skills and financial literacy among others. The girls will spend a week at TelOne’s head office shadowing their mentors.

Kirsty swims to Cabinet

After the Golden Girls dazzled the world by winning a gold medal at the Moscow Olympics, Zimbabwe had to wait for 24 years to celebrate such a feat. It was Kirsty Coventry who swam to gold at the Athens Olympics in 2004. Her haul of seven medals make her one of Africa’s greatest Olympians. Last year, Coventry was appointed to Cabinet as Youth, Sport, Art and Recreation minister.

Chiri speaks truth to power

As Auditor General, Mildred Chiri has exposed excesses in government ministries, parastatals and State owned entities (SOE). Since 2004, her office has been flagging the accountability deficit in government and its departments, parastatals and SOE. There was uproar when Chiri’s contract was cut short in 2017 to the extent that Parliament refused to endorse the appointment of her successor. She was back at work some months later.

Accelerating Lewis Hamilton’s F1 car

Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona. Centre: Established PETRONAS Trackside Fluid Engineer (PTFE), Ahmad Nasri Mohd Shafie, presents Stephanie Travers with her team uniform. Far Right: Eric Holthusen, PLI Group Technology Officer. Far Left: Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO of Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Motorsport.

Recently, Zimbabwean born Stephanie Travers attained global limelight after beating 7000 applicants to become track side engineer for F1 great Lewis Hamilton.

Age is but a number for Natalie Jabangwe

Mobile money service firm EcoCash has conquered the market and the go-to platform for transactions due to cash shortages.

Natalie Jabangwe, EcoCash CEO

It’s CEO Natalie Jabangwe, one of the youngest executives in Zimbabwe has seen her star rising on the growth of EcoCash. Last year, she was appointed into the inaugural global Task Force on Digital Financing by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. Last month, Jabangwe was appointed into the President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Advisory Council.

A Divine touch to security

In 1998, Divine Ndhlukula believed it could be done and turned her cottage into an office with four employees as she ventured into the security industry. This gave birth to Securico which has stood shoulder to shoulder in the highly competitive sector.

Chipo Matimba conquers the skies

Not only did she become one of the first fighter jet pilots but just a few years back Chipo and co-pilot Elizabeth Petros flew the country’s first ever all-female flight deck crew from Harare to Victoria Falls.

The success of women in other sectors of the economy is attributed to hard work and an enabling environment which recognises gender equality. Zimbabwe is part to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women which came on board in 1991, the Beijing Declaration on the Platform for Action (1995), the Convention on Civil and Political Rights, the Equal Remuneration Convention, the Convention on Prohibition of Discrimination in Occupations and the Convention on Economic, and Social and Cultural Rights.

In 2008, Zimbabwe ratified the protocol to the 2003 African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women.

The Bill of Rights in Chapter 4 of the new Constitution recognises that men and women have a right to equal treatment, including right to equal opportunities in political, economic, cultural and social spheres.

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