Anna Murigwa – Makoni Rural District Council COE

Anna Murigwa – Makoni Rural District Council COE

Date: July 1, 2015
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I am a humble widow hailing from the coolest mountainous landscape in Zimbabwe popularly known as “Kumakomoyo, the province of diamonds, or the Eastern Highlands. I live and work in Rusape. I am a Committees Officer at Makoni Rural District Council that also doubles up as an Administration Officer.

I first met Gender Links (GL) at a training workshop in Kadoma in 2009. The very following year, GL afforded me the opportunity to attend the 2010 and 2011 Gender Justice and Local Government Summits (GJLGS) held in Johannesburg, South Africa, as well as the first-ever Zimbabwe Gender Justice and Local Government Summit in March 2012.

My council also appointed me to the Gender Focal Person. My job entails reviewing all council policies and ensuring that they are gender-sensitive and that they promote equality in all council activities. I also ensure that both males and females are equally represented in these activities.

I facilitate networking with the Ministry of Women Affairs Gender & Community Development (MWAGCD) among other organisations that deal with gender issues. In my portfolio, I supervise council committees to ensure that their budgets consider the needs of everyone, particularly the most marginalised: women, youth and children.

As the District Gender Council Chairperson for all NGOs and government departments within the district, I coordinate and spearhead gender activities such as the International Women’s Day, Day of the African Child, Family Days and 16 Days of Activism.

My relations with GL are not only confined to the summits, working for a council that is also a local government Centre of Excellence (COE), I interact with GL from time to time through the governance programme as well. Since its inception in the COE programme my council has held several workshops with GL.

The most memorable moment in my journey with Gender Links is when I won a commendation award the regional GJLGS in South Africa in 2011. The recognition made me feel that the struggles I go through to transform the council and ensure that gender is considered throughout all the work of the local authority is worth it. Receiving the commendation award gave me confidence, not only in my work but also in other areas of my life, because I realised that if I could get one thing right, then I could get many other things in my life right.

Gender Links has changed a lot of things in my life, for instance, I now understand that there are different forms of gender-based violence. Prior to GL training, I did not regard some behaviours as violence. This knowledge has also helped me with the upbringing of my children. I now know how to support my children and the things that might hurt them. Gender Links has also convinced me of my potential as a woman and now I do not hesitate to stand up for myself. My life has transformed because of all these lessons and I would like to credit GL for everything.

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