Zimbabwe Local Government Association Working on Gender – ZIMTV

Date: April 13, 2011
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Zimbabwe’s Local Government Association’s Gender Desk is calling for a comprehensive policy framework to address gender issues in rural and urban councils. While population figures show there are more women than men, women’s participation in local government remains low À“ currently standing at 8.5%. The Gender Desk calls for 50/50 representation in all decision-making in local government by 2010 and is excited about the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development which says it gives them the impetus to move forward. Gender Links Executive Director Colleen Lowe Morna explains that the focus is on council because her organisation believes it is the starting point to empower women. GL works in the framework of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development, which was ratified by Zimbabwe.

This programme shows that women’s numerical advantage has not led to an automatic increase in representation in local government. Men still dominate decision-making processes in councils, thereby compromising gender issues and rights.

The underrepresentation of women in decision-making processes contributes to their marginalisation. This is the thrust of this well-researched feature. It highlights the fact that while local governance has a bearing on women’s livelihoods, women stand to lose because they occupy a tiny fraction of positions of power.

It reveals that the majority of women are relegated to menial tasks within government while men occupy key positions of power and are hence able to influence policy-making and implementation.

The feature exposes the challenges women face in local government and maps plans to rectify the problem. Gender experts and NGOs such as Gender Links put forward their views from this platform. The report contextualises gender issues within the region, highlights the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development and assesses women’s participation within this framework.

The headline “Zimbabwe Local Government Association working on gender equality in decision-makingÀ is relevant and captures the whole story.

Sources used are relevant, diverse and gender-aware.

The editorial has transformational power and has the capacity to create sufficient discomfort by focusing on the roots of unequal power relations. The programme engages audiences to review systems and processes in a bid to fast-track gender advancement, empowerment and participation at the grassroots level.

The story uses neutral language which shows that the reporter is gender-aware.

The report is gender-aware as it illustrates close-up images of both men and women attending the workshop. It also shows a file picture of a woman drawing water from a well to support some of the issues raised in the story.

Story angle and perspective
There is no balance of view points as only those of women who attended the workshop are heard, although there were also men there.

Placement or positioning
The story was broadcast in the Sunday Edition prime news programme. It was not one of the mains news items for the bulletin. But the fact that it was on during prime news hour means that it was considered important.

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