Government has been called upon to come up with budgets that are gender-sensitive as it would go a long way in addressing historical imbalances that have seen women lag behind in terms of development, an official has said.
Speaking at the launch of gender budgeting and economic empowerment project and national gender budgeting training manual in Harare yesterday, Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development minister Olivia Muchena said women have not enjoyed the same rights and equal access to key resources and opportunities such as education, land, credit and decision-making.
“Budgeting can reinforce existing inequalities and perpetuate poverty by not taking into account the different roles and needs of the groups of women and man,” said Muchena.
She said government was increasingly creating an enabling environment for investing in women adding that there was a need to prioritise and target some women-specific issues for funding or subsidisation.
She said there were issues that deserved special attention in budgeting allocation such as reproductive health and specific scholarship funds for girls in identified disciplines of study such as science and engineering.
Zimbabwe Women Resource Centre and Network (ZWRCN) executive director Naome Chimbetete said the launch of the two projects reaffirms the country’s long-standing commitment to gender equality through gender budgeting among other interventions.
“Gender budgeting is a greater mainstream tool that is used to ensure that government policies, programmes and budgets address the needs and interest of women, men, boys and girls without looking at biases that arise from resources allocations, ” said Chimbetete
She applauded the Zimbabwe government’s accession to numerous regional and international conventions, protocols and consensus document that promote gender equality that includes the convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention on the Rights of Child, the Beijing Declaration and its Platform for Action, the Sadc Gender and Development Protocol and the Millennium Development Goals as a means of addressing poverty and social development
The project was launched by ZWRCN, Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development and Consumer Council of Zimbabwe and is being supported by the United Nations Woman fund for Gender Equality.