Councils on track in ensuring gender parity — Gender Links

Blessings Chidakwa Municipal Correspondent
Government’s favourable policies have resulted in women becoming more visible in leadership positions in local authorities, both as administrators and politicians, an official has said.

The councils have also been commended for establishing gender focal persons in their management systems.

Addressing heads of departments from Harare, Chitungwiza and Norton councils and Ruwa and Epworth local boards, Gender Links Zimbabwe country manager Ms Priscilla Maposa said the representation of women in key council positions was important.

“Women are becoming more visible in leadership positions in councils both as administrators and politicians,” she said. “Female managers rose from 18,6 to 23,7 percent in 2017.”

Ms Maposa said at regional level, over the past five years, Zimbabwean councils and the parent ministry were shinning in terms of mainstreaming gender.

“Our councils have been performing very well at regional level,” she said. “Local Government, Public Works and National Housing has also been excelling after scooping first position in terms of mainstreaming gender.”

Ms Maposa bemoaned a slight decline in terms of women being elected as councillors, saying over the past three elections, the percentage has been going down.

She recently proposed for a reserved quota system to promote the participation of women in politics.

“We would want something like a quota, but we may come up with a different quota system, unlike the 60 reserved seats in Parliament we can come up with a special measure that is different for our local authorities at least so that we can have women represented in their various wards,” said Ms Maphosa.

“Already, we have seen that parliamentarians have started lobbying for the extension of their quota system, but the situation is different at the local level because at this level there is no quota system or any other special measure to promote women in politics.

“So, as gender organisations we are working together to try and ensure that our Government can come up with a special measure that will promote the participation and representation of women as politicians at the local level.”

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