…All Chiredzi’s 40 wards, four constituencies occupied by men
CHIREDZI-Ministry of Women Affairs, Small and Medium Enterprises in Chiredzi has expressed concerns on the low uptake of leadership positions by women describing it pathetic as all 40 Chiredzi wards and four key parliamentary positions are currently being held by men.
The matter came up during a citizen participation engagement workshop organized by the United Chiredzi Residents and Ratepayers Association (UCHIRRA) recently at Tuff Gardens.
The training workshop on citizen participation in decision making processes challenged women and youth to play active roles in such matters.
Chiredzi which is one of the biggest districts in Zimbabwe with 40 wards, 32 from Chiredzi Rural District Council (RDC) and eight from Chiredzi Town Council are all currently being occupied by men, which raises eyebrows on the low uptake of leadership positions by women.
Giving his presentation, Ignatious Chorira, the Head of Department on Women Affairs said the participation of women in decision making process was very low as from the year 2000 only eight women have been elected as councillors.
“It is so sad that participation of women in local governance is very low. Since time memorial, I can only recall of eight women who were once councillors from both Chiredzi councils,” said Chorira.
He also highlighted that there are other factors prohibiting women from participating in key leadership positions including gender based violence and sexual exploitation.
“There are also factors which are prohibiting women from participating in key leadership positions including fear of sexual exploitation and gender based violence. The field is not balanced, women participating in leadership positions are called all sort of names, which might not go well with our cultural backgrounds,” he added.
Hope Shumba who was the moderator at the seminar also highlighted that citizen participation was key to any developmental decisions to be made and it all begins with being a registered voter.
“The first stage of citizen participation is being a registered voter. If you are a registered voter, you will have the power to select a leader of your choice who will be able to represent your interests.
“I heard a lot of people crying on the fees being charged for plan approvals. That figure was set by residents who participated in the budget formulation process, which you thought was useless but now affecting you today. If you had participated in the budget formulation process, you could have set your desired figure,” said Shumba.