Gwanda(Ilanga-New Ziana)-A common myth is that women do not work together while a pervasive stereotype is that they do not work for mutual good and instead constantly compete to bring each other down.
Gwanda District Development Coordinator (formely known as District Administrator) Keliboni Ndou urged women in leadership and those in communities to work together towards achieving positive goals that bring development.
Speaking during the Gwanda Rural District Council Gender Committee meeting held at the council offices, Ndou expressed concern at the attitudes of her female counterparts.
“Before we can even go to the communities, the problem starts here. If we look at the composition of our RDC committee we will realise that it is male dominated,” he said.
“The chairperson is male, vice male and other vital committees are led by males save for the gender committee, which is bad. Lets have a culture of putting females on higher decision making position, for instance if the chairperson is male the vice should be female.”
Gender committee chairperson, Marry Mpofu concurred with Ndou, saying she was once ridiculed by other women during a ward community meeting for sitting on a chair.
“I personally experienced that in my ward when my fellow women ridiculed me and was reduced to nothing when I sat on a chair while the rest of females were seated on the floor,” she said.
“My act was equated to that of a disrespectful women who seats on a chair together with males.”
The gender committee meeting came at a time when Ntepe Community Radio was launching its project of promoting female councilors through the use of social media platforms under the theme, “Local-Women-Local-Voices”.
Following the realisation that voices of female councilors were not prominent in the media, the community radio movement has moved to ensure thier voices were amplified through the use of alternative media.
The pilot project that seeks to promote the visibility of female councilors is targeting 51 local authority leaders.
The project also intends to strengthen the capacities of female councilors in public administration through equipping them with communication skills including enhancing their knowledge of the Constitution and council by-laws.
This will also open up avenues for women to articulate their issues, participate in political decision- making as well as advancing their interests.