Chingola Municipal Council Institutional profile

Chingola Municipal Council Institutional profile

Date: July 4, 2013
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The council has approved the existence of a Gender Mainstreaming Committee and has a chairperson who is also the Gender Focal Point Person.”

Chingola is a city in Zambia’s Copperbelt Province, the country’s copper-mining region. It is the home of Nchanga Copper Mine. The city had its stage 1 meeting in 2010, and has been part of the Center of Excellence process with Gender Links since then. The town council is guided by the National Gender Policy to mainstream gender in all its work, and has since developed an action plan. There is a High Level Gender Champion, Mrs Laura Yumba Munkanta.

Since the last local government elections in 2011, there has been no change in the representation of men and women in the council. There are only 2 women compared with 25 men. This low representation of women impacts negatively on the participation of women in council meetings and on their ability to influence decisions at the highest level.

However, women have been on the forefront of council programmes like the ‘Make Chingola Clean Campaign Week’ which was spearheaded by female employees of the Department of Health. This campaign takes place twice a year, and it is a very successful program involving all stakeholders. Over 35 women are employed to help in cleaning the Chingola town streets and markets.

The council had started groundwork on coming up with an HIV/AIDS policy which was taken up by the council management. However, they were later advised that the Ministry will come up with the policy for all councils; this initiative was championed by the gender focal person Laura Yumba Munkanta.

However, the council is still active and takes part in activities concerning HIV/ AIDS such as distribution of both male and female condoms and commemoration of the World’s AIDS day, as well as a seat on the District Aids Task Force and the subcommittee spearheading all HIV/AIDS related activities.

A number of steps have been taken to elevate the economic status of women in the community, such as initiatives like the women we can walk to the open weekly markets (Saturday markets). This is in the effort to encourage women who do not have market stands in recognised markets to be given an opportunity to trade. During Agriculture shows, women are encouraged to show case their products during the shows, and the community services department managed to hold an exhibit show for women.

A woman owned company called Proftech was awarded a tender to install traffic lights, as well as a number of under CDF 3 Infrastructure Development contracts have also been awarded to women.

On climate change, a workshop was held in March, 2011 and at this meeting a good number of women attended the meeting and participated in the discussion; however not much has been done as a follow up to this workshop. No committee on Climate change has been put in place.

Currently, the Department of Health is headed by a female, and also includes two female Health Inspectors who do daily supervision on waste collection and disposal. At least 35 women have been contracted to help in street cleaning.

On land and housing distribution, the council is implementing the national policy which calls for 30% allocation of land to women. In 2010 council advertised more plots and in June 2011 but did not manage to hold interviews because the programme coincided with the tripartite elections and the interviews started on Tuesday 6th March, 2012 and it was emphasised that women should be considered.

The water and sanitation sector in Chingola is handled by a parastatal utility company called Mulonga Water and Sewerage Company. Hence the council does not have any data on the sector.

On environment the council has a running campaign on keeping Chingola clean and health education talks at markets conducted by women Health Inspectors in market committees. Gender disaggregated data on use of facilities examples of facilities built with women and men in mind.

The Chingola council has built 3 facilities targeting both male and female youths in sports and skills training. These include a youth centre for skills training in Chingola Constituency, a Computer centre in Nchanga Constituency as well as a children’s centre at the Chiwempala Community Hall targeting women who to trade at the market with their children.

The council maintains the street lights in the main central business centre, markets and other main streets around town and has budgeted for more areas to be lit in its 2012 budget. On the contrary, street naming is maintained and there is an ongoing programme of naming all the streets in the district including those in the newly opened up areas.

During the 16 Days of Activism, the council worked hand in hand with the District Gender Sub Committees to sensitise women in markets on GBV and entrepreneur skills. The Council has also held talks with female employees and shared awareness on Cervical Cancer, work culture so that men don’t give an excuse for not promoting women and also the importance of women to make savings to help them start up some form of businesses and not depend entirely on men.

As part of the women’s day celebrations, visits to two orphanages were arranged to appreciate and give moral support to the women taking care of the orphans and also to chart and play with them. There was also a talk on sexual harassment on Monday 5th March, 2012 for all employees.

The Victim Support Unit which has a good relationship with the council sensitises the communities on GBV, and encourage them to report cases to police. The unit sits in the councils, but also on the Gender Sub Committee as well as the District Aids Sub Committee. They are also members of the DDCC and submit reports.

When jobs are advertised and during interviews women are given the same opportunity as men, but there is still a big number of male employees when compared to female. The existing policy is available for use in national contexts; one advocates for 30% but Chingola Municipal Council is trying to implement the SADC protocol target of 50%, a target also aimed for in the trainning policy.

A number of cases of sexual harassment have been taken up in the council, and a sensitization workshop was done for both males and females on sexual harassment in the work place. The YWCA explained the forms of sexual harassment that are there so that employees are made aware of both what they are how they are to be dealt with. The Police Victim Support Unit has also held sessions with employees and explained the acts that exist in the Laws of Zambia and how they charge cases of sexual harassment or indecent assault.

The council has approved the existence of a Gender Mainstreaming Committee and has a chairperson who is also the Gender Focal Point Person. Acting Director of Planning Laura Yumba Munkanta is the Focal Point Person and one of the duties is to coordinate all developmental matters within the district.

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