RWA Zimbabwe: 2022 National Meeting


Over 1 500 rural women, all members of the Rural Women’s Assembly Zimbabwe, gathered for the 2022 National Meeting under the theme Rebuilding Rural Women’s Livelihoods and Resilience through Sharing Alternatives in Moments of Disasters as well as in Post Disasters. This was the first in person National Meeting to take place following two years of Covid-19 restrictions against public gatherings. The two-day meeting took in place in the Bubi district in Matabeland North in Zimbabwe on 24 and 25 August 2022.

Following two tremendously difficult years battling the pandemic, members of the Rural Women’s Assembly from all over rural Zimbabwe were excited to meet with each other again in person for the National Meeting. The National Meeting provides a platform to learn, share best farming practices, strengthen solidarity and improve livelihoods. The women were honoured to have Zimbabwean policy makers, traditional leaders, councillors, local authorities and other government stakeholders in attendance. In a show of solidarity, Rural Women Assembly members and rural women from ten other Southern African countries travelled long distances to join the meeting.

The first day of the meeting was spent in focussed group discussions on four key areas. The four key areas for the National Meeting’s discussions included: the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP); Gender Based Violence (GBV); the annual Feminist School and Liquid Fertiliser Making workshops. 

Following the second day of the meeting, the following demands were concluded:

1.         Government must relax the restrictions on the movement of indigenous of seeds within and across the boarder

2.         Recognition as well as documentation of local knowledge for indigenous seeds and traditional foods while supporting agroecology

3.         Government must implement fully the UNDROP declarations

4.         Government must prioritise and increase access to land with water for rural women since they are the most producers of local food

5.         Governments should improve addressing and resolving Gender Based Violence cases

While much work lies ahead, the National Meeting was the perfect moment to appreciate the resilience, strength and contributions of rural women who toil daily in an effort to establish food sovereignty, not only in Zimbabwe, but in the SADC region.

The Zimbabwean Rural Women’s Assembly wishes to thank all the special guests who attended to show their support and share in our struggles and victories. As the Rural Women’s Assembly in Zimbabwe, we are resolved to remain the “Guardians of Land, Life, Seeds and Love!”

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