Gender activists head for SA

Fourteen local councils across Zimbabwe have elected to join the Centres of Excellence for Gender Mainstreaming in Local Government that devise and implement local level action plans for attaining the SADC Gender Protocol targets.

They held their first summit in Kadoma last month, convened by Gender Links, the Zimbabwe Local Government Association and the Women in Politics Support Unit.

Zimbabwe has signed and ratified the Southern African Development Community Protocol on Gender and Development, committing itself to create mechanisms for ensuring women’s equal participation in all areas of decision-making by 2015.

Some 58 entrants (43 women and 15 men) showcased work on the ground in 10 categories – institutional change, leadership, youth leadership, support, response, prevention of GBV; HIV and AIDS and care work; gender and governance; local economic development and climate change. The winners will compete in the regional Gender Justice and Local Government Summit in Johannesburg next week.

With 19% women in local government and 18% in Parliament, Zimbabwe falls far short of the SADC target on women’s political participation.

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