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The Zimbabwe Gender Commission was established in terms of Section 245 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and operationalised through the Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC) Act (Chapter 10:31).
During the nationwide consultative processes of drafting the National Constitution, the constant resurgence of gender-related issues reflected a glaring need for the establishment of an independent institution to specifically look into gender issues. This then birthed the Commission, as one of the Chapter 12 Independent Commissions supporting democracy whose objectives are set out in Section 233 of the constitution.
The Commission’s Mandate
The specific mandate of the Commission is derived from Section 246 of the Constitution whose provisions are listed as follows:
- to monitor issues concerning gender equality and to ensure gender equality as provided for in the Constitution;
- to investigate possible violations of rights relating to gender equality;
- to receive and consider complaints from the public and to take such action in regard to the complaints as it considers appropriate;
- to conduct research into issues relating to gender and social justice and to recommend changes to laws and practices which lead to discrimination based on gender;
- to advise public and private institutions on steps to be taken to ensure gender equality;
- to recommend affirmative action programmes to achieve gender equality;
- to recommend prosecution for criminal violations of rights relating to gender;
- to secure appropriate redress where rights relating to gender have been violated; and
- to do everything necessary to promote gender equality.