Masvingo City in affirmative action for women
MASVINGO – Masvingo City has introduced a Gender Desk, one of whose objectives is to support affirmative action for women.
This was said by Sithabile Mataba who mans the desk during the International Women’s Day commemorations held at Lees Inn Hotel yesterday.
The Day is set aside to celebrate women’s accomplishments and advocate for gender equality.
Also introduced along those lines is a Sexual Harassment Policy whose objectives are to deter the abuse of women in workplaces across the province. Masvingo City is a hub council that oversees all gender activities in the province and to ensure that women feel safe and represented at their respective workplaces.
Some of the objectives of the Gender Desk are to ensure that all council polices are gender sensitive, advise council on gender issues and policy, ensure and agenda mainstreaming of all council activities.
Mataba also attended a cyber dialogue on gender equality for sustainable development and climate change where she was representing Masvingo City and the country at large.
The Gender Desk was started in 2020 and so far it has accomplished policy reform, become a hub council overseeing all gender activities in the province, advocating for equal empowerment opportunities with men and is supporting some 100 underprivileged girls with sanitary wear as it intensifies women’s rights awareness.
Council has allocated $2, 278, 125 for gender making it probably one of the few local authorities in the country with such initiatives.
Sanitary wear distribution began in January and beneficiaries of the program are identified by councillors, junior councillors and selected council staff, Mataba said.
“Masvingo City is dedicated to empowering and protecting women because they are our mothers, wives and daughters. We have crafted a sexual harassment policy to protect both male and female employees and we have since setup a gender desk that will handle such issues,” said Mataba.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Deputy Governor Jesmin Chipika was the guest of honor.
The commemorations ran under the theme; Equality For a Sustainable Tomorrow.
The event was also attended by Empower Bank Chief Executive Officer Shadreck Mhembere, Masvingo City Town Clerk Engineer Edward Mukaratirwa, Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) country representative Angeline Mikiri, members of the Masvingo business community and women representatives.
Mukaratirwa said the city is encouraging women and women organisations to apply for stands at the new CBD and added that the city is assisting them in registering their business with relevant bodied including the Procurement Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) allowing them to tap into the national economy.
“We urge women and their various organisations to apply for stands at the new CBD and we are prioritizing them because they are key contributors of sustainable development.
“Garikai fruit and vegetable marker has 775 markets and 533 are owned by women with 150 of the 250 market stalls at Takawira Market owned by women,” said Mukaratirwa.
Masvingo City has also been partnering Gender Links since 2012 and has for the past three years been winning a silver medal at the Gender Links awards.
“We have been winning silver for the past three consecutive years and with these reforms we are guaranteed the gold medal because these are life changing policies,” added Mataba. https://masvingomirror.com