Debra Matabvu and Thandiwe Garusa
WOMEN from religious backgrounds such as the church should actively participate in national politics to instil Christian values that help mould a strong country and economy, a Cabinet minister has said.
Speaking at the World Day of Prayer in Harare yesterday, Minister for Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Dr Sithembiso Nyoni said women in church were an integral part of the nation and should be included in all facets of the economy.
She also commended organisations such as Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) for economically empowering young women countrywide.
“One way to serve your country is to become a politician. You have the responsibility, ladies of the church, to produce women to lead this country with values of the church,” said Dr Nyoni.
“If you do not build them, we will be led by immoral people, and this country will go to the dogs, because the objectives of the politicians will be those of lining their pockets using State funds.
“But if you nurture women, the way YWCA nurtured us, this country will have women who will bring out what this country really needs.
“I remember Angeline Makwavarara, the then president of YWCA soon after independence, was sent to the Government with some documents on recommendations and resolutions from women in the church. She later became the first secretary of the Ministry of Women Affairs.”
Dr Nyoni also commended Christian civil society organisations that have partnered Government on initiatives to empower women.
YWCA national general secretary, Mrs Muchanyara Mukamuri said women played an important role in praying for peace in society.
The World Day of Prayer is an international movement organised by women from different Christian denominations and is celebrated annually on March 1.
This year’s event was held under the theme: “Come – Everything is Ready!”, with Slovenia being the host for the main prayer. Zimbabwe will host the main event next year.