The Energy Workers Union of Zimbabwe (ZEWU) a BWI affiliate in Southern Africa held its 4th women’s conference in the tourist resort town of Kariba from 21-22 October 2016.
Amongst the guests and delegates present were Hon A. Damasane – Deputy Minister of Women, Gender and Community Development, Hon T. Muzenda – Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development, Mrs. Simango of the Ministry of Public Service Labour and Social Services, the local Member of Parliament, and sister unions’ representatives from Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Namibia.
ZEWU President, Cde Angeline Chitambo, officially opened the Conference by welcoming all Government Ministers, officials, local and international guests and thanking them for accepting the invitation to Conference.
Hon A. Damasane delivered the keynote address in which she applauded ZEWU for a well organized conference and encouraged the Conference to come up with resolutions that dignified women’s contributions both at the workplace and at home. She alerted the Conference to a number of women friendly legislation that had been passed by government since independence in 1980 .
She encouraged the union to participate at local levels in the women empowerment programmes, to adopt the Women in Gender Budgeting model in policy decisions and incorporate young women into structures to manage smooth succession and familiarize with the Ministry’s Gender Policy.
Senator T. Muzenda Deputy Minister of Energy expected to partner with ZEWU in the exploration of alternative sources of energy since ZEWU has the expertise while the Ministry would provide administrative know how.
The Conference followed through with the provisions of the Constitution of Zimbabwe placing emphasis on section 65 which provides for Labour Rights.
Cde Hlazo from National Union of Mine Workers (NUM) called for unity and solidarity among women and advised the Conference to elect into office capable people who would advance the interests of women at the workplace. She urged the Conference to look after the sick, ensure they were treated and are not discriminated against at the workplace.
The 4th Women's Conference came up with the following resolutions;
2. to intensify recruitment process and would set the targets at the Strategic Planning stage.
3. to adopt all the initiatives opened up by the Minister of Women, Gender and Community Development.
4. to adopt all the opportunities availed by the Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development.
5. to support all the programmes in which ZEWU is participating at the Local, Regional and Global levels.
6. to push for an increase in the number of women trained in the paralegal programme run by Zimbabwe Labour Centre.
7. to adopt the National Gender Policy
8. to support the current and any new networking with progressive Trade union and social movements