Joyce Moyo – Zimbabwe

Joyce Moyo – Zimbabwe

Date: July 1, 2015
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I was born in Masvingo, and my father passed away when I was ten months old. I grew up with my stepfather. I was brilliant in school; I was educated up to standard six and I was so excellent. Growing up in a family without my biological father, things were difficult. That’s when I began to appreciate that people need help for them to do well in life, especially the girl child. This was because my stepfather only allowed my brothers to proceed with their education. Just because I was a girl child, he said I was going to get married after all. This influenced me very much; I thought of being a politician so that I could also add my voice to this issue of gender imbalance. I am now the president of the Lions Club. My political life began as just a member of my political party, and I then rose with ranks up until I became a councillor.

My work as a councillor involves reviewing council’s objectives and policies to ensure that they are appropriate for the local area, and also to review council’s resource allocation, expenditure and activities, and the efficiency and effectiveness of its service delivery. I also play a role in the policy making process, and it is my responsibility to identify community needs, set out objectives that meet those needs, and establish priorities between competing demands and allocating resources. My other responsibility is to represent the interests of residents and ratepayers, facilitating communication between the community and the council.

My first encounter with Gender Links was through information and education materials which we were given to me by our gender focal person. I became interested in the organisation due to the objectives they had, which included giving women and men equal opportunities in all aspects of life. I then attended workshops and even the national summit which was held here in Kadoma. I also submitted an entry to the 2012 national summit. Although I was not successful, I did not feel bad about that because I believe that there were other people who were doing stronger work. I do not have any negative experiences with Gender Links.

As a woman in politics, I have seen a lot as far as gender issues are concerned. If I do not try to redress the imbalances which are there, who will I expect to do that for us as women? I believe that as a councillor, I have a say in the policy formulation and implementation. I have formed a group which was first comprised of orphaned girls and vulnerable children in society. I bought them sewing machines, and they were taught how to sew sanitary pads which they could not afford to buy. Now, they are sewing sanitary pads which are being bought by other women. The pads can be re-used again without any problem; women need about five of them and they can last you a year.

I then also incorporated boys, who were socially and economically disadvantaged. The boys are also engaging in sewing and farming. The integration of the boys and girls in doing these activities, which were once said to be for males or females, brings about gender balance among the children. As they grow up, they will know that they are equal and none is superior to the other. Apart from that, I have also integrated them with other children who are not disadvantaged, and they are doing well. I have also sent four people for training in HIV/AIDS, and of the four, two are women and two are men. Whenever we have a gathering, we give them the opportunity to talk to people about HIV/AIDS.

For the future of the council, I believe that there must be more women leaders. A woman must be a leader, taking a role that she assumes when she is at home. If we let women take more leadership roles, the situation of the country might change because women have a heart. They are the ones who give birth to all the people. I care about the future of Zimbabwe, that is the children who are our grandchildren. They should inherit a country were gender balance and equity are of great value, for this will make the country develop.


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