Luanshya Municipal Council Institutional Profile

Luanshya Municipal Council Institutional Profile

Date: July 22, 2013
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Fridah Muenga Ngabatha, a beneficiary of the council and Gender Links training said that the knowledge she has acquired has enabled her to sensitize others about gender.

The Luanshya District is located in the Copperbelt Province of Zambia. Luanshya lies about 337 Kilometres to the north of the capital of Lusaka. The Council has 14 wards of which there are 28 male councillors and only 2 Female councillors.

The council is currently using the national policy on gender, although there are plans to draft a local policy. With the current draft action plan, a budget is put aside for International Women’s day celebrations every year.

Women are hugely underrepresented in the council, which is headed by a male Mayor who is also deputised by a man. There are 2 women compared to 26 men. This gives women a disadvantage in terms of representation and decision making, as none of them is heading a committee.

However, the two women councillors have been trying their best to represent the interests of women. Through their political positions they have been able to mobilise women to participate in public meetings. This has resulted in women being vocal at district and community meetings whose outcomes feed into other higher level meetings.

In the past year, the council has created 357 jobs of which only 102 were given to women and the rest to men. However, the council is supporting projects that are helping women and men to be self-sustainable. The council held a Local Economic Development workshop on 15 – 17 February 2012 as a way of equipping community members with entrepreneurship skills, and has since established a tender and procurement committee to assist in giving equal opportunities to women with an intention of awarding at least 20% of the tenders to women.

Although there is no policy on climate change yet, a disaster management policy is already in place and council employees have had a workshop on climate change with Gender Links. The council has a running tree planting programme, and up to date more than 500 trees have been planted in and around the town.

Like other councils in Zambia, Luanshya is guided by the national policy on land and house distribution. The national policy stipulates that 30% of land be allocated to women. The gender segregated data provided by the council shows that more men than women are benefiting from the current housing scheme. However, the council explained that in some isolated cases, women were applying for houses in their husbands names so when it is recorded in their books the man will be registered as the beneficiary whilst its actually the woman who applied for the house.

Water and sanitation in the council is handled by a local company, so the council was not scored on this target.
On GBV, the council has had discussions with religious leaders and Faith Based Organisations, and came up with a theme – create peace in the home for peace in the world. They ran a successful sixteen days of activism campaign with the collaboration of other stakeholders as funding was not adequate for this exercise.

The council has a good relationship with the police, especially the victim support unit which deals with cases of GBV. This relationship has been beneficial as it has seen more cases of GBV being reported since the council and the police have been having joint sensitisation workshops with members of the community.

As for employment, within the council all advertisements are for equal opportunity employment for both men and women to apply for posts. However, there are more male applicants than female, and the council has since come up with an opportunity for men working in the council to have a window to apply for jobs that are advertised, should they be qualified.

Although there is committee on gender that meets monthly and is chaired by a middle management member of staff, the council doesn’t have policy on sexual harassment and no cases have been taken up.

Since the last verification, the budget has become more gender aware and the money allocated to gender activities has increased from a block figure of 5 million to 20 million per annum.

Fridah Muenga Ngabatha, a beneficiary of the council and Gender Links training said that the knowledge she has acquired has enabled her to sensitize others about gender. She added that she has also encouraged the council to keep on supporting her work so that more members of the community are sensitised on gender issues. “I am the gender champion in our committee and I urge the council to remain active and committed towards the COE process.”



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