Winnet Tambara – Zimbabwe

Winnet Tambara – Zimbabwe

Date: July 29, 2015
  • SHARE:

Gender work upgraded me to management level

My name is Winnet Tambara Chitauro, the gender focal person (GFP) for Murewa Rural District Council. Our offices are situated 87 kilometres east of Harare and two km off the Harare – Nyamapanda road. The economy of Murewa is agro-based and the district lies within region two where the rainfall patterns are fair. The total population, according to the 2012 census, is 105 338 and 52.8 % of these are women. There are 30 wards; two are urban and three are resettlement areas and the rest are communal wards. The district has one chief and five headmen. Of the 30 ward councillors, five are women and there are four women in the management team of twelve. Generally the council has a staff complement of 34 and of these, ten are women.

As a GFP, I service the gender committee of the council which is like any other council committee. The gender champion, Alderman Dzvinyangoma, is the chairperson of the gender committee. I am also employed as an Assistant HRD and Administrative Officer who assists with all the human resources and administrative duties in council. Management grades range from nine to 11 with 11 as the highest grade. I am in grade nine.

My main responsibilities are to give technical advice to the gender committee of the council and implement recommendations passed by the committee and forward them to the full council meeting. I also ensure that there is gender mainstreaming in all council activities, for example, service delivery, policies, budgets and employment.

I was also instrumental in addressing inequalities and redressing gender gaps through gender collaboration that is, networking with other people in the field for the sake of sharing and supporting. Through GL workshops I managed to take gender out of the box and put it in the council system.

My efforts contributed to improved service delivery and services are now being delivered without discrimination. The Council’s budget is now gender sensitive and all policies are being amended so that they are gender sensitive. We made a major step forward when we successfully involved the community in gender issues. Community members now have a sense of ownership and they fully participate in gender programmes. The situation propelled gender mainstreaming in our council to the next level.

As good work cannot go unchallenged, we faced challenges. We faced financial constraints in our attempt to fully implement gender policies, but council is trying to overcome the challenge by engaging funding partners, for instance, the Council engaged the National AIDS Council and ZNFPC for the rehabilitation of the drop in centre.

I observed that council was male dominated and most of the projects were gender insensitive. There was no gender mainstreaming and some of the projects did not benefit men and women equally. The Council’s vision is: “To improve and sustain the living standards of our people by 2018.” I was afraid that 2018 would come and the vision would not be accomplished because services were not being delivered to all people that is, both men and women. Women were lagging behind and this made me realise the importance of gender mainstreaming. I was of the opinion that there should be a gender desk in council so that gender equality and mainstreaming would be taken on board. I tried to explain to fellow employees but they regarded the issue as a wastage of time and resources. A circular from the Ministry of Local Government, Public works and National Housing for the appointment of GFPs was received and I was appointed the GFP and that is when my work started.

We started working with Gender Links in 2014. As a result of the gender work I was upgraded to management level. I was in grade 7 before being appointed the GFP. I am currently working hard to lobby for a review and upgrading of the budget allocation for COE work.

Going forward, I have plans to create a platform where COE can exchange notes and promote peer learning. I also want to advocate for equal representation of both women and men in gender committees. I plan to hold more capacity building programmes and effectively engage media houses for wider coverage on COE work.


One thought on “Winnet Tambara – Zimbabwe”

Comment on Winnet Tambara – Zimbabwe

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *