Prioritise Women’s Rights In Local Level Processes

Women from Zaka ward 8 have called on local leaders to prioritize and safeguard against abuse of women. This came out during a Social Accountability dialogue organised by communities working with Heal Zimbabwe on 27 November 2020.The objectives of the meeting were to facilitate platforms for citizens to measure the responsiveness of duty bearers and the status of service delivery within target areas and ensure that citizens participate and contribute meaningfully to formal and informal platforms coordinated and called for by either citizens or local duty bearers.

Participants at the meeting who were mostly women highlighted that there was need for local leaders such as Traditional leaders and Councillors to promote women’s rights by ensuring that local level processes such as meetings and composition of local structures such as Village Development Committees (VIDCOs) and Ward Development Committees (WADCOs) were sensitive to issues of gender equality. Participants noted that participation of women in such platforms and processes reduces cases of Gender Based Violence (GBV) as women can collectively work with various stakeholders to proffer solutions to challenges and conflicts in local communities.”

Our local leaders must promote women’s right by ensuring that laws, customs, traditions and cultural practices  that infringe on the rights of women are addressed in line with Section 80 of the constitution,” said one participant. The dialogue meeting resolved that there was need for continued advocacy on women issues as women continue to suffer the brunt of abuse in various spheres. The dialogue also afforded the Councillor an opportunity to give feedback on issues that were discussed during a Rural District Council meeting conducted in November 2020.He updated that he submitted the ward 8 priority needs including the need to complete a local clinic, maintenance and drilling of new boreholes and submission of a motion towards the construction of a vocational training centre.

The Social Accountability dialogues are part of Heal Zimbabwe’s initiative that seeks to bring the voices of citizens into governance, enabling citizens to monitor and provide feedback on the delivery of services, and helping to build trust between citizens and duty bearers.

Source: Heal Zimbabwe Trust

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