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enough money for women
Jangara, The Zimbabwean
January 08, 2013
The latest census
figures indicate that women still outnumber men, however, national
budget and other resource allocation mechanisms do not reflect this
An Open Society
Initiative for Southern Africa-commissioned report entitled "Gender
Budgeting: Case Study of the Zimbabwe Experience" bemoans
the government's lack of will to proactively budget for women.
is one indicator of a government's - or any other institution's
- commitment to social justice, it is its allocation of budgetary
resources for women. Often governments and institutions are very
quick to tick on the checklist that they have signed and ratified
international instruments and put policies and laws in place that
promote social justice for women, but they seldom match this with
the necessary budgetary allocations," reads the report.
the results of the census carried out in August 2012 and released
in December, Zimbabwe has 6 738877 females against 6 234 931 males.
In 2002, when
the last decennial census was carried out, the total population
was at 11, 631, 657 with women constituting 52 percent. Women's
organisations that spoke to The Zimbabwean, in light of the current
demographic patterns, called for active civil society interventions
to ensure that the needs of women were effectively factored in national
fiscal policy and budget formulations.
budget and general government policies have in the past been rapped
for failing to adequately address women's economic, social,
political and personal development needs.
which has so many loopholes, should aim "to reduce gender
inequalities and to promote gender-sensitive development policies
for poverty reduction and improvement of the welfare of women and
men, boys and girls through the national budget," according
to the Osisa report.
It must also
"achieve gender-sensitive budgets that address the needs of
all people equitably, while taking into consideration the special
needs of people with disabilities, the youth and the elderly".
In the 2013
budget, the Ministry of Women's Affairs, Gender and Community
Development was allocated $10, 129, 000, a figure that is considered
too low for women's needs.
of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development acknowledged
that the economic empowerment of women and youth remained a grey
look at the current population and the budget that was allocated
to my ministry, the two do not tally. The money is given to the
department is just too little," said Majome.
said it was the responsibility of all the ministries to ensure that
they mainstreamed gender in their budgets.
of women is ever-increasing and as a ministry we are going to be
policing all the other ministries to ensure that they cater for
women's needs. We don't want to marginalise women, so
we will work with other ministries," said Majome.
Trust, Emmie Wade, said the national budget should have included
taxation schemes that favour women since women work a lot harder
in fulfilling gender roles.
failed to come up with a gender-sensitive budget that ensures, for
example, that women obtain vending licenses easily and the vending
sites also need proper sanitary and healthy facilities," said
She added that
vocational training and second chance formal education should have
been prioritised as women were more likely to be disturbed during
of the Zimbabwe
Women Resource Centre said government should improve access
to credit through establishing micro-finance programmes and also
provide adequate training and education for women.
are confronted with a number of challenges, among them lack of capital
to start income-generating projects at various levels. They are
also burdened with the responsibility of taking care of the family,
with little or no resources at all," she said.
that the budget had failed to respond or take note of gender differences
in economic behaviour and also did not factor in biases that arise
from resource allocations based on different roles, needs, responsibilities
and relations of women and men.
of the Women Coalition
of Zimbabwe, Virginia Muwanigwa, said the budget had always
failed to aggregate the amount of money actually available for women
and the number of women who would benefit.
at the socio-economic situation in Zimbabwe, it is disheartening
to note that women bear a disproportionate burden of the country's
poverty, despite the existence of pieces of legislation and theoretical
frameworks of their economic empowerment," said Muwanigwa.
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