BY KENNETH NYANGANI

STATELESSNESS due to human trafficking, xenophobia, civil unrest and economic hardships impacts more on women and children, Mutasa North legislator Chido Madiwa (Zanu PF) has said.

She made the remarks in Vumba yesterday during a United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)-organised workshop for parliamentarians.

The workshop is focusing on nationality and Statelessness in Zimbabwe.

Addressing journalists on the sidelines of the workshop, Madiwa said women should also be educated on the importance of having proper documentation.

“… people without State are all over. Statelessness affects children and woman more, so we should look at the issue of Statelessness with a gender lens as it impacts more on women and children,” she said

“Women experience statelessness physically due to xenophobia, civil unrest, human trafficking and economic hardships which have caused migration to other countries where people then seek refugee status.

“I am happy the government has put in place pieces of legislation to deal with Statelessness. The other challenges we are facing is that there are women, mainly in rural areas, who are not aware of the importance of having documents like identity cards and birth certificates, so they need to be educated about the importance of having such documents.”

The workshop was attended by four parliamentary portfolio committees namely Foreign Affairs and International Trade; Defence; Home Affairs; State Security; Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs as well as Women Affairs, Gender and Small and Medium
Enterprises.

The workshop objective is to reach common understanding on nationality and statelessness issues globally and also to understand the international legal safeguards on the reduction and prevention of statelessness and also to identity possible gaps in Zimbabwe’s legal, policy and administrative frameworks that could lead to statelessness.