Josephine Ncube – Zimbabwe

Josephine Ncube – Zimbabwe

Date: October 30, 2015
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At Chamber Secretary Level, Josephine Ncube is the highest ranking female in the Harare City Council, but at Grade 4 level, there are no women. This imbalanced situation, however, has just led the council to do as much as they can on mainstreaming in Harare.

As a Gender Links Centre of Excellence, the Council has established a gender policy and action plan, which has timeframes and accountability. While there are only 5 women councilors and 46 male councilors, the council has successfully lobbied for a woman special interest councillor. The Chief Legal Officer is a man (since 2009). He took over from a female Chief Legal Officer who resigned. In the legal office below the 4th Grade level, there are 3 women out of 2 men. In terms of gender balance, there is still a huge discrepancy as one goes up the leadership and decision-making ladder at the CoH council administration levels. What makes it even harder is the absence of an institutionalised gender policy in the CoH council.

In response, the council is training women in previously male dominated fields, such as parking enforcement, fire fighting, and heavy vehicle driving.

The council has adopted a number of initiatives that are gender friendly. The City Council has a flagship GBV plan, which incorporates a range of initiatives including safety and public lighting, information sharing, and public health. Another example is a park benches project, in which stakeholders participated in the choice of the project, and consultation ensured that friendly spaces were created for women, children, and the elderly.

In a recent workshop, an appeal was made by women for the Harare City Council to provide land to grow food crops for new mothers at the city’s maternity homes. Josephine pointed out that this is a good example of how women’s participation is increasing in consultations since the Council’s activities have become more gender sensitive.


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