Katete District Council Institutional profile

Katete District Council Institutional profile

Date: July 12, 2013
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“The driving force of the council is the fact that it is at the local level and has the obligation of providing quality services to the public in a transparent manner.”

Katete District Council is among other councils who have been transformed into centres of excellence by Gender Links. The council have been trained to mainstream gender at the local level and society as a whole, through training the council has been able to identify the policy areas to start gender mainstreaming. In an effort to ensure that all activities are carried out accordingly Gender Links has developed a close working relationship with the council by conducting workshops and providing them with material. As a result of training the council plays a critical role to promote equal participation of women and men. The council has now committed them-selves towards achieving the 28 targets of the SADC protocol on gender and development target of halving gender violence by 2015.

The council is promoting gender equality and women empowerment in the district. The council also recognises that HIV/AIDS sensitisation is important in the promotion of human rights. This is the more reason why it has developed a policy where HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support activities can be fostered without hindrance. The driving force of the council is the fact that it is at the local level and has the obligation of providing quality services to the public in a transparent manner. This also includes the protection of the communities from GBV it being a cross cutting issue which has made it possible for the council to mainstream the gender issues through good governance. Katete district council has come a long way in that there has been an improvement in the allocation of resources to gender issues matters. This includes all activities that are done by the council like elections, waste management, water supply and sanitation even in terms of giving out contracts.

The council is ensuring improved quality of service and leadership at the local level which includes greater participation of women in the decision-making processes. Increasing women’s participation as councillors is one of the greatest achievements that the council wants to achieve. It is ensuring that women have an active role in governance, women need full political rights, and they should not be intimidated because the constitution allows women to run for all government positions.

The situation before intervention was that women were not given a chance to actively participate in politics. Politics were often viewed as belonging to the arena which best managed by men this could be the reason why the district only has one female councillor out of a total of 22 males. Inactivity of women political participation before gender mainstreaming was as a result of the traditional obstacles that segregated women s participation at social, economical and political levels.

Having one female council is a sign that in the past, gender matters were not taken seriously; there was no gender focal point person in the council, no gender street names, no participation of women in equal numbers in waste management and water supply and sanitation activities as well as no mainstreaming of the gender activities in council programmes.

The council has now worked on the mentioned areas by having a focal point person; they even participated in the 16 days of gender activism and cyber dialogue. They are using the District Development Coordinating Committees (DDCC) Gender subcommittee, through councillors, they local radio station and awareness meetings. Women in large numbers are now joining politics; they want to be given an opportunity to be in government. The council has no doubt that women have the skill and ability to hold any decision-making post.

The council has continued to encourage the community to be active in all gender activities. The community has formed groups; were they meet and discuss gender issues. Gender awareness programmes have continued to exist, from the same group there are counsellors handling matters of gender based violence.

The characteristics that distinguish Katete district council from other councils are the effort to carry out community sensitisation programmes to encourage women to have interest in politics. The aim is to have 50/50 equal representation of women in decision making-positions. The main challenge is the unwillingness by female colleagues in participating in issues like contracts and contesting in Local Government elections. However, this could be because women lack sufficient information to know their rights. If resources for the budgeted activities could be funded, the council will ensure that there will be no injustice and marginalisation in the political arena.




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