Zimbabwe has celebrated the Women Entrepreneurship Day (WED) with many female speakers from different leading organisations coming together to share motivational messages in Harare today.
Customer Services Manager at Total Esther Verenga, who spoke during the celebrations encouraged women to get into top positions and said that the desire is to have a 50/50 representation at all levels.
“We are not trying to push out the men but we are trying to integrate in the same environment with the men,” said Verenga.
WED is celebrated when 71 percent of the women in Sub-Saharan Africa are in low paying jobs according to Sophia Myers who also presented.
Ruth Takawira, Agent Banking Manager at Steward Bank said that on about 13 banks in Zimbabwe only one bank has a female Chief Executive Officer during the WED celebrations.
Takawira added that 77 percent of women in Africa’s most literate country have never accessed bank loans due to lack of required documents.
“They (women) are made to sign papers with terms and conditions that they don’t understand and at the end, we are at their (women) back before they have done something with their money,” said Takawira.
Women’s financial inclusion has however risen from 11 percent in 2011 to 24 percent in 2014 despite the challenges in banking.
A high ranking participant at the WED celebrations said that there was a low turn up of women accessing the $15 million funding opportunity offered by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).
Co-founder of WEDB Financial Services Edna Mukurazhizha this year also lamented on the small number of women getting loans against men.
“I have worked for many years in banks and most of the proposals that appear are for men”. said Mukurazhizha in May.
Generally, Zimbabweans no longer have confidence in the banking sector as bankers find it hard to access to cash in financial institutions after also losing bank deposits in the 2008 crisis.
WED is done to celebrate women entrepreneurship on the nineteenth of November since its launch in 2014. This year’s celebrations go with the theme Supporting Women.