Kadoma City Council Institutional Profile

Kadoma City Council Institutional Profile

Date: July 2, 2013
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“Life is tangibly changing in Kadoma city; women are now participating in civic affairs. There are now five women councillors, up from two, which means women’s voices are being heard. Women are now taking up jobs which were once dominated by men”.

It has been two years now since the council started working with Gender Links; it started with a lot of enthusiasm. It was around this time in 2012 that the mayor of Kadoma declared the Town as joining the COE process at the first ever Gender Justice & Local Government Summit. As a council, they have committed to become a Centre of Excellence (COE), and they have held a number of workshops since they became a COE. They even had the privilege of hosting the 2012 National Summit. Misconceptions they had about gender as council have now changed, and some of the problems they were encountering pertaining to gender issues have been rectified. Some of the council policies have now been adjusted so that they can be gender sensitive. For example, their housing policy has changed; they are now saying that when family is buying a stand from the council, the name of the husband and wife should appear on the council records, meaning they will be having equal power over the stand. They are also saying women now have the right to acquire and hold property.

The participation of women in the council was so minimal that there were only two women in the council. There were no policies which protected women, or which gave women equal opportunity with their male counterparts. There were also few females in managerial positions in the council. You would find women in the less influential posts. There are now five women councillors in Kadoma, which is a big milestone although they have not yet reached the 50- 50 representation required by the Gender Protocol.

Life is tangibly changing in Kadoma city; women are now participating in civic affairs. There are now five women councillors, up from two, which means women’s voices are being heard. Women are now taking up jobs which were once dominated by men. For example, tar patching women are now there; in the department of refuse collection they are also there. They even have a refuse collection truck that has inscribed the name Mutumba WevaSikana (Big Girls) on it. It is used primarily by women, except for the driver who is a man. Even then, they are in the process of looking for a female driver. They also have a community-based group by the name Murambatsvin, a which is responsible for waste management in the climate change initiative. This group has three men and three women. They carry out their duties in 2 wards in the town.

In the health department, there are now men who are working there as nurses, and some of them are even in the midwifery section. There are no complaints from women, meaning they are accepting that men can help them deliver just like the female nurses. They have also acquired a CD4 count machine which is at the Rimuka Maternity Home. According to their records, this machine is being used on the pregnant women as well as the husband. They are encouraging husbands to be tested together with their wives.

Many platforms of engagement have been created by the council to include those who have been marginalised. There are now community based programs, such as setting up and maintaining boreholes. There are now women who are maintaining the boreholes; that is keeping its surrounding clean and also maintaining order there when people are fetching water. There is also the community based group Murambatsvina, which is involved in the waste management area. It has 50-50 representation of men and women, who were motivated by the diarrhoea outbreak which once hit the town and lead to the formation of the group. Taskforces which comprise of women have been set up that include health and even budgets so that they can have their input there.

The Kadoma municipality as a centre of excellence is unique when compared to other councils. We are engaging on a pamper awareness campaign,; through this, we are encouraging our citizens to dispose of pampers in an environment friendly manner, not to find pampers thrown everywhere which is a health hazard on its own. We are having cleaning campaigns to green. Women are now involved in sewer management, waste management and also cleaning the streets.

As a new programme, we are bound to face challenges in the implementation process. When we try to raise awareness about the programme we are facing resistance from people, especially from the male side. The political side of the country also has some influence on their activities depending on which political party someone is affiliated to who initiates the programme; others may decide not to participate. So many programmes may flop. But besides all these challenges; they are seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

As they assess the situation, performance can only be strengthened through dialogue, awareness campaigns and also changing the mind-sets of the people who are trying to move people away from the traditional roles of women and man and see them as equal people. They think that the millennium goals should be made known by everyone so that they can start to appreciate the gender issues, which are part of the millennium development goals. To sum up I can just say the issue of gender balance is gaining momentum in the City of Kadoma.

Kadoma prides itself in being an equal opportunities employer. They have been seen encouraging women to apply for occupations that were previously thought to be for men, and this was evidenced in one of their newspaper adverts. Though the challenge is actually to get women coming to apply for these jobs, the council has 2 women in key decision making positions – Director of Financial Services and the Acting Director of Housing, Shylette Dzivai, who also doubles up as the council GFP. She critically analyses herself from the time she made contact with GL by saying “As a new kid on the block, we have learnt a lot through Gender Links which includes gender development and the SADC protocol guidelines.”

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