FANRPAN Director of Policy Research and Analysis, Ms Sithembile Mwamakamba joined Global Women Leaders for this year’s CARE on Capitol Hill: International Women’s Day. From the 5th - 9th of March. Ms Mwamakamba participated in a series of events and meetings with U.S. policymakers on women's empowerment where she shared how globally, women and girls are facing historic challenges: the lingering impacts of COVID-19, food insecurity and hunger, disruptions to women’s health care, rising gender-based violence, and more. Initiatives like the USAID-funded TAKUNDA project implemented by CARE, FANRPAN and other partners in Zimbabwe are working to address these challenges.

The Takunda is a five-year program focused on promoting sustainable, equitable, and resilient food, nutrition, and income, for the extremely poor, chronically vulnerable, and those at risk of malnutrition. The program is being implemented in Chivi and Zaka districts of Masvingo province, and Mutare and Buhera districts of Manicaland Province.

The program seeks to build the resilience of low-income people who may be chronically affected by climatic and economic shocks by working to achieve sustainable and equitable income from agriculture production; improving off- and non-farm livelihoods, and creating more opportunities for income-generating activities. Target population groups include vulnerable adult women and men, adolescent mothers, male and female youth (aged 18-35), women of the reproductive age group, and children under five years, who are made vulnerable by socio-economic challenges, the impacts of climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ms Mwamakamba together with CARE Advocates and Global Women Leaders called for the United States leadership to meet the current moment and commit to advancing the rights of women and girls and strengthening health systems to prevent irreparable backsliding on gender equity and equality.