Zimbabwean advocate and trailblazer Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda has achieved a significant milestone by securing the position of Deputy Executive Director for Normative Support, United Nations System Coordination, and Program Results at UN-Women. This notable appointment was made by UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
In an interview with VOA Zimbabwe Service, Gumbonzvanda conveyed her gratitude and acknowledged the responsibility that comes with the role: “I feel humbled and challenged by being trusted, by the confidence that has been bestowed in me. It is significant for me to know that little girls in our communities can grow professionally.”
A Trailblazer’s Advocacy for Equality
Highlighting the importance of gender equality, Gumbonzvanda urged governments to prioritize equal opportunities for both men and women. Her journey towards this prestigious position mirrors her dedication to empowering girls and young women in marginalized communities.
The UN emphasized Gumbonzvanda’s extensive experience, stating:
“Ms. Gumbonzvanda is the Founder and Executive Director for Rozaria Memorial Trust in Zimbabwe. Prior to this, she served in various influential positions, including as the General Secretary of the World Young Women’s Christian Association and UNIFEM Regional Programming Director in the East and Horn of Africa.”
A Record of Dedication and Service
Gumbonzvanda’s commitment to humanitarian work spans various roles, including her tenure as a Human Rights Officer in Liberia and National Child Rights Adviser in Zimbabwe with UNICEF. Her roots in legal advocacy and women’s rights advocacy are evident from her leadership roles at the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association and the Ministry of Justice, Legal, and Constitutional Affairs of Zimbabwe.
Recognizing her expertise and dedication, the African Union appointed Gumbonzvanda as its Goodwill Ambassador on Ending Child Marriages in 2014, showcasing her unwavering commitment to advancing human rights.
An Impressive Educational Background
Her academic qualifications further underscore her expertise, with a Doctor of Laws degree (Honoris Causa) from the University of Massachusetts, a Master in Laws degree from the University of South Africa, a Post-Graduate Certificate in Conflict Transformation from Uppsala University in Sweden, and a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) degree from the University of Zimbabwe.
Paving the Way for Zimbabwean Representation
Gumbonzvanda’s appointment marks a pivotal moment, making her the second Zimbabwean to hold such a prominent position at the United Nations, following Fadzai Gwaradzimba’s appointment as the Assistant Secretary-General for Safety and Security in 2015.
This remarkable achievement not only celebrates Gumbonzvanda’s dedication but also inspires future generations, reaffirming the potential and impact of Zimbabwean representation on a global platform.