Michael Gore – Zimbabwe

Date: September 28, 2015
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“Cllr Gore has shown us that working with all classes of people does not need education”. (Zebron Makoni male community member)

In Ward 2, where I am the councillor, there is a section of single quarters which sadly accommodates an average of six people in a single room i.e. mother, father and four children. This set up has always made it very difficult for parents in these houses to have any privacy. Mothers and fathers cannot be intimate freely as their children are in the same room. This has led to some men beating up their wives for withholding conjugal rights. I had to stop a man in my ward from beating his wife in the middle of the night and posed a question to the rest of the men as to how they would react if their sisters were being abused. Hence I advised all the men present to go back home and make a difference and stop gender based violence (GBV) in homes, workplaces and in their community.

I am Michael Gore, the Kadoma City Health committee chairperson, a member of the Works Committee and the Gender Committee. I started supporting gender activities in 2011. I became involved when I was doing gender budgeting for our council at the time when Gender Links visited Kadoma City Council to support gender budgeting. I encouraged more women to be in the forefront of different projects and I promoted 50/50 in workplaces as well as equal representation. Schools in my ward are now treating children equally in the BEAM programme, e.g. there was a child in my ward whose parents were both alive, but they were too poor to pay for his tuition. I intervened for him to be given an equal opportunity on the BEAM programme, regardless of the fact he had both parents. I have managed to promote gender through encouraging the employment of male nurses and uplifting female nurses to middle and top management level.

The objective of this initiative were to improve the quality of life of Kadoma residents in general and Ward 2 in particular through facilitating a clean environment; self-help in the construction of houses; local action on climate change and improving livelihoods as well as the prevention of GB.

My mission statement is: “Ensuring a solution towards gender based violence and encouraging residents to live peacefully in their homes”.

As a leader engaged in the day to day activities of the community, I came to make this my mission statement in an effort to curb violence and promote peace in the society. In pursuit of a productive and developing community, there is a need to prepare solutions whenever necessary. As is well known, charity begins at home, hence to maintain the social balance there is a need for peace in homes. As a leader in my ward, I educate the people to take these five pillars seriously as the source of a solution to GBV, they are respect, teamwork, openness, commitment and integrity.

Our key activities are advocacy using drama, focus group discussion and improving the quality of life; livelihoods projects and housing projects.

Resource mobilisation for work on gender equality is as follows:

Gender specific allocation $3000 30 0000
Gender in mainstream projects (please specify) No money only education Water:-
Amount contributed in cash or in kind by partner organisations Gender Links

Our challenges have included less participation by males, a lack of knowledge among the community on the roles of councillors and partisan programme implementation.

I have now adopted the concept of equal representation of males and females at all levels, so as to provide equal opportunities for participation. I can also now listen and relate to both sides of the story, i.e. males and females, disabled or not. I can now approach women, bearing in mind that they are equal human beings, unlike in the past when I thought they were nothing. Speaking on behalf of the vulnerable has become a pleasure for me as I can now better understand their needs and concerns as their leader, unlike when I was just an ordinary citizen. My fellow workmates have helped me to develop my working skills and indeed from them I have become a better leader and human being.
See Testimonial: TATENDA GLORIAH MAKONI (0782221105)

Previously in my ward, the number of reported cases of violence between men and women was high due to economic hardship at times, but now it is better. Most people now live peacefully in their homes for I urged them to focus on issues that bring food into the home, rather than blaming each other as to who is wrong. Hence there are few gender based violence cases in my ward.

Fair and equal opportunities to fetch water at boreholes: previously, men in my ward had a barbaric attitude when they went to boreholes. They would not mind whether there was a line or not, but would use their masculine advantage to push their way to the front. Hence, through my programmes curbing gender based violence, there is now dialogue and communication in terms of approach.

Equal opportunities on jobs for everyone: even disabled people receive a fair chance at being offered a job in my ward e.g. sewer blockage cases, everyone is called out to participate. When there is a need for ward resident representation for anything, anyone can be chosen regardless of disability or any other reason.

People in my ward, despite their political affiliation, now live and interact freely and fairly. This means they do not mind whether one belongs to a particular party but they all work together.
See Testimonial: OSCAR MOYO (0776130916)

Change at the community level is indicated by the following: men now understand gender issues and there is now equal participation in all meetings; women are also now confident of participating in the community and both women and men are now employed. Also, the disabled receive equal treatment and opportunities and there is now less stigmatisation of people who live with HIV and AIDS, and the community are responsible for decision making.

People in my society now behave responsibly. As a leader I also urged my fellow men to go to church for deliverance and also to learn from the bible how everyone in the society is equal and important. There is also now increased food security and improved livelihoods.


I trained people from my community on HIV and AIDS and they positively benefited from this. Issues pertaining to this included advocating for safe sex, nutrition, prevention of mother to child transmission (PMPCT), counselling (VCT) and abstinence. People from my area are now fully equipped and have dropped the habit of hiding or worse still, discrimination. I also gave lessons on GBV and male members have mostly demonstrated the success of this project as their approach towards women has changed and they still come to me for clarification of disputes to avoid violence at home. I also undertook Integrated Result Based Management to help my fellow members attain evidence based results.
See Testimony: TATENDA GLORIAH MAKONI (078222110)

The lessons that I have learned and been able to share include the following: after being trained by the councillor, people learned to work together with one vision within the community; united as a community we can rise above any challenge, but divided we all fail because of misunderstandings. Domestic violence and child abuse derail and set back good causes and therefore the community, as it benefits only a few. Learning is a process for which everyone is responsible, ‘an eagle does not fight a snake but it takes it up and down until the snake gets tired and never has a chance to strike the eagle.’

The future steps needed are to improve the sanitation of the community and to improve communication on matters relating to HIV and AIDS, to improve the lives of the disabled and to have funds to cater for disadvantaged people; to improve the lives of orphans and elderly people and reduce the number of school leavers.



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