Alice Paraziwa – Hurungwe Rural District Council COE

Alice Paraziwa – Hurungwe Rural District Council COE

Date: August 3, 2015
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I am a social services manager with Hurungwe Rural District Council (RDC) and I previously served as a general nurse under the Ministry of Health and Child Care’s district health promotions programme. I dedicated 14 years of my working life to community work and I have worked closely with both women and men.

My encounter with Gender Links (GL) has seen me becoming the gender focal person (GFP) for Hurungwe RDC. I am the gender driver and have enthusiastically advocated and lobbied for change at policy level. This has seen gender, HIV and AIDS, sexual harassment and gender based violence (GBV) action plans crafted, recommended and adopted by council.

I attended several Gender Links workshops and they contributed positively to my professional development. Through capacity building, I managed to apply for staff development courses and aimed for top posts that were historically reserved for men and deemed “challenging”.

The numerous workshops gave me the leverage to liaise with heads of department and there was remarkable improvement in service delivery. My co-ordination skills were perfected and I created a good mutual relationship with partners such as the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development. The co-ordination has seen the creation of a gender management system, that is, a gender committee and gender desk. Generally, my approach to programming has significantly improved from being gender blind to gender sensitive and my horizons widened. I have made a breakthrough at community level, championing trainings such as SALS, awareness programmes, commemorations and campaigns, undertaken of course through the “we” concept and team approach, in partnership with other stakeholders.

The major set-back in my endeavour to ensure gender mainstreaming in all council activities was a lack of adequate resources. As such, most of my initiatives remain dreams since action is hampered and crippled by the lack of financial resources. There is poor network coverage in my area since it is located in the remotest part of the country. The effect manifested itself in poor reporting and ineffective gender information management systems.

I learnt about gender theoretically through academic courses, but was not pragmatic. After I was appointed GFP, my council enrolled in the centre of excellence (COE) process and several inductions and trainings supported by GL made me appreciate gender concepts and processes. I really evolved and became very much more pragmatic and I managed to align my theoretical base with the situation on the ground. I told myself that I should make a change and leave a legacy in terms of gender mainstreaming at my workplace and the community that we serve as a council.

I vividly recall the day I presented for the first time during the SADC Gender Protocol @ Work Summit because the situation was too hot for me to handle. The grilling I received from the judges was too much for me. However, the incident positively modeled and sharpened my presentation skills and I became more confident and more articulate.

Going forward, I will keep on mobilising funds to adequately fund all my gender initiatives so that they will be achieved. I will not rest until I have lobbied successfully for the creation of an effective gender system, well institutionalised and implemented legislative provisions. I wish to carry out research and do gender system audits.

2 thoughts on “Alice Paraziwa – Hurungwe Rural District Council COE”

Thank you Alice for the noble work, I would however want you to assist me with the email address of the Chief Executive Officer Of Hurungwe District Council for possible bridge or intervention strategies in Hurungwe.My contact mobile number is 0775127037

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