50-50 gender balance in govt: WLGF

The Women in Local Government Forum conference held here recently added momentum to the already spirited national lobby by women for a balanced gender representation in decision making.

“We have joined forces with other like-minded advocates for a balanced gender representation in all crucial spheres of life. Our comrades in arms in this regard, Women in Politics Support Unit, have been assisting our cause. The equitable

gender representation should start from as low as ward level up to the highest structures in the ministry. Our efforts in this respect were being complemented by support from allied organisations such as the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, Gender Links, Women in Politics Support Unit and UNDP,” said WLGF Vice Chairperson, Chipembere.

She also called for the harmonisation of gender activities as there was ‘duplication’ of effort by various women’s organisations.

The 50-50 gender representation was also an issue in the constitution making process. Various stakeholders and members of the public indicated that the issue should be adopted in the new supreme law of the country.

In order to help speed up the female empowerment drive, WLGF initiated a revolving fund for the benefit of its membership. Currently all members would make contributions towards the fund and “private donors impressed with the initiative expressed interest to channel funds into the project”. Harare Mayor, Muchadeyi Masunda reportedly said he could assist WLGF by holding a fund raising dinner in Harare.

According to Chipembere, WLGF faced a lot of challenges as councils refused to release key members of the executive who were said to be too busy to attend the forum meetings.

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