A Community Action Accountability Team (CAAT) established by a community that works with Heal Zimbabwe in Zaka ward 19 has made strides towards the realization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).As part of belated celebrations for the International Day of Rural Women, the CAAT convened a community dialogue that sought to unpack ways through which the community can empower rural women. The dialogue was conducted on 19 October 2019.
The dialogue came a few months after Heal Zimbabwe had conducted several trainings for the CAAT that sought to conscientize and capacitate women on the importance of SDG goals. The dialogue was hinged on making positive contributions towards SDGs 5 (gender equality) and 1 (no poverty).Before the dialogue, the CAATs had conducted a conflict mapping exercise where they noted that poverty among women negatively impacted their participation in democratic processes such as consultative meetings. They cited the lack of knowledge about women’s rights, lack of economic opportunities, and vices such as Gender Based Violence (GBV) as being some of the hurdles. The conflict mapping exercise further noted that as a result of all this, women and girls were always in constant fear and rarely participated in community development processes.
Issues that came out during the dialogue include the lack of awareness on women’s rights by various stakeholders notably government Ministries such as Women Affairs. It also came out that some community leaders such as Traditional leaders due to entrenched practices hinged on patriarchy were at the forefront of discriminating women when parcelling out land. Women noted that lack of access to land cripples women’s economic function and welfare. As part of the way forward, CAATs resolved to establish a community women garden where they will regularly meet and mentor each other on leadership skills as they generate income. The garden will act as a safe space for women and children. Further to this, a committee was also set up that will steer the garden initiative with the assistance of two local Agriculture Extension Officers. The community resolved that it will have training on human rights that will seek to equip community members with knowledge on their rights. The training was scheduled for the 30th of October 2019.Heal Zimbabwe will facilitate the training in collaboration with other stakeholders.
A CAAT is a group of women and youths from diverse political and socio-economic backgrounds working together to build peace and demand social accountability from duty bearers.CAAT members have been trained in Community social accountability, governance and democracy.
Source: Heal Zimbabwe Trust