At A Glance

Indices and Rankings
Gender Gap Ranking1 --
Gender Inequality Index2 0.583
HDI Ranking3 #173
Political Participation
Women parliamentarians lower/upper houses 15%/24%
Women in Parliament ranking #90
Women at ministerial level ranking #19
Year women received right to vote/be elected 1957/1978

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GovernmentParliamentary democracy
Total population12.6 million
GDP per capita (PPP)5400
HDI ranking3#173
Population under age 1541%
Urban population38%
Internet users16%
LanguagesEnglish (official), Shona, Sindebele, others

Indices Education & Employment Political Participation
Sources (January 2013): CIA World Factbook, Inter-Parliamentary Union, Internet World Stats, MDG Info 2010, Quota Project, UNESCO Institute for Statistics, UNICEF ChildInfo , UNICEF State of the World's Children 2011, United Nations Development Project Human Development Reports, World Economic Forum, World Health Organization Global Health Observatory Database. 1.The World Economic Forum's Gender Gap index assesses how well countries divide resources and opportunities amongs male and female populations in four areas: economic participation and opportunity (salaries, participation levels and access to high-skilled employment), educational attainment (access to basic and higher level education), health and survival (life expectancy and sex ratio), and political empowerment (representation in decision-making structures). 2. The UNDP's Gender Inequality Index is designed to reveal the extent to which national human development achievements are eroded by gender inequality. It is a composite measure reflecting inequality in achievements between women and men in three dimensions: reproductive health (maternal mortality ratio and adolescent fertility rate), empowerment (share of parliamentary seats, and secondary and higher education attainment levels) and the labour market (women's participation in the work force). It varies between zero (when women and men fare equally) and one (when men or women fare poorly compared to the other in all dimensions). 3. The UNDP's Human Development Index (HDI) is a summary composite index that measures a country's average achievements in three basic aspects of human development: health, knowledge, and income. It was created to emphasize that people and their capabilities should be the ultimate criteria for assessing the development of a country, not economic growth alone. 4. Vulnerable employment is a Millenium Development Goal (MDG) 1B indicator; vulnerable employments are lower productivity and informal activities such as own-account workers and unpaid family workers. They are therefore more likely to lack benefi ts associated with decent employment, such as adequate social security and recourse to effective mechanisms for social dialogue. Vulnerable employment is often characterized by inadequate earnings, low productivity and substandard working conditions that undermine fundamental labour rights.
Gender Gap Ranking1 #-- Adult literacy rate, females as a % of males 94% Women parliamentarians lower/upper houses 15%/24%
Gender Inequality Index2 0.583 Population with secondary education, female/male ratio 79% Women in Parliament ranking #90
Vulnerable employment for women (men)4 76.5%(48.4%) Women at ministerial level (ranking) 19%(#43)
Year women received right to vote/be elected 1957/1978
Lifetime risk in maternal death, 1 in 52 Quota type No legislated quota
Births per woman 3.3 Constitutional quota in lower house No
Births per 1000 women aged 15-19 101 Electoral quota in lower house No
Voluntary political party quotas Yes

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Our Partner

Women's Self-Promotion Movement (WSPM) is a grassroots organization created in Zimbabwe by women from various African countries. WSPM implements women’s economic empowerment and capacity-building programs that seek to improve the lives of disadvantaged women through education, economic development, and women’s leadership trainings. WSPM primarily works with disadvantaged women and girls in the Southern Africa region. Read More >

In The News

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Reports & Updates
June 15, 2006 | Leadership, Leading to Choices, Zimbabwe
In February 2006, WLP's Zimbabwe partner the Women's Self Promotion Movement (WSPM) brought together 50 leading activists and democracy workers from the Nyarugusu Congolese Refugee Settlement in Kigoma, Tanzania for a Leading to Choices leadership workshop. Participants were drawn from NGOs and smaller, community-based organizations active at the camp, including Association de Mamans Enseignantes, Solidarité Pour Le Développement, La Voix de Femmes de Fizi, Umoja wa Wanawake Wakristo wa Kigoma, and Fondation Muhamed Ali pour la Paix. The goal was to strengthen collaboration between organizations working to improve the lives of refugee women living in the camp.
March 6, 2006 | Africa, eNews 1, Leadership, Leading to Choices, Zimbabwe
In May and July this year, nearly 200 women from six countries in sub-Saharan Africa participated in human rights and leadership development workshops organized by WLP and its partners. The workshops took place in Zimbabwe and Tanzania as part of the regularly scheduled programming for the Women's Self-Promotion Movement (WSPM) and Umoja wa Akina Mama Fizi (UWAFI). The response from participants and facilitators to WLP's empowering, cooperative leadership strategies was very positive. The workshops' success was largely due to the excellent planning and organization of the NGOs, whose commitment to new models of leadership and consensus-building provided the workshops with real-life context and problem-focused content.
March 5, 2006 | Leadership, eNews 6, Leading to Choices, Lebanon, Zimbabwe
Working together in the workshop setting, diverse groups of refugee women learned to recognize their own leadership capabilities and empowered themselves to improve the quality of life in the refugee camps, enhance their status as refugees in their hosts countries, and address conflict resolution and peace-building in their home countries.
February 25, 2005 | Africa, eNews 11, Leadership, Cameroon, Leading to Choices Multimedia, 2005 Events, Nigeria, Zimbabwe
Twenty-five women from eight African countries met in Calabar, Nigeria for the Africa Regional Learning Institute for Women's Leadership and Training of Trainers. Co-organized by WLP and BAOBAB for Women's Human Rights, the five-day Institute aimed to strengthen participants' capacity to become better trainers and advocates in empowering grassroots women to become effective decision-makers in their families, communities, and societies. Participants were from Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Among them were Vabah Gayflor, Minister of Gender and Development in Liberia, and Hafsat Abiola, President of the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy in Nigeria.


Patricia McFadden

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Patricia McFadden is a sociologist, activist, and scholar who has worked in the antiapartheid movement for over 20 years. She has taught at universities since 1976 and is the former director of the Feminist Studies Centre in Harare, Zimbabwe. She is a visiting scholar at the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center based at Mount Holyoke College in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she is writing a book on feminism and nationalism. She is the former editor of the Southen African Feminist Review and present editor of African Feminist Perspectives.

S:SSO to Sakai