English introduction: Through ”The Women’s Trust Project” Norway has supported capacity building in leadership and gender mainstreaming training for women Councillors and communities in local authorities after the 2008 elections. As the participation of women in politics still has some way to go in Zimbabwe, it is seen as important to build leadership skills for the women that are elected and make sure that the local authorities are well aware of gender capacities. The goal of the project is to promote gender responsive good governance in the local authorities throughout Zimbabwe and the training took place during 2009-2011.
Last week the Ambassador took part in one of the workshops connected to the capacity building that The Women's Trust offers. The Embassy was also present at a reception where the workshop participants got their certificates. The participants were both women and men from local authorities. The Ambassador emphisised that development never will be complete without democratic participation and democracy will never be complete without women’s engagement in the processes. And that is why The Women’s Trust Project has been so important in the Zimbabwean context. The purpose of the project was to increase female councillors’ understanding of, and skills in gender mainstreaming in local authorities and to facilitate the active participation of women in local government.
“To this end it is important that The Women’s Trust closely monitor the different development initiatives within the communities to ensure the success of these projects without leaving out, also taking into consideration some of the different needs of the stakeholders involved, monitoring and evaluation are key to national development as it ensures and enables people to be – accountable.” - Ambassador Ingebjørg Støfring
Ambassador Ingebjørg Støfring explaining the significance of this project for future democratisation sitaution of Zimbabwe. Photo: The Women's Trust
Not only did the project result in holding workshops and training the relevant men and women in local government on gender issues. The project also resulted in the creation and distribution of a “Local Governance Gender Mainstreaming Checklist” for The Town Clerks, Executive Officers and District Administrators with support from The Norwegian Embassy in Harare. The Checklist includes
- Information about gender and institutional framework
- Administrations staff and internal considerations
- Personal empowerment and skills development
Participants from the project on local governance and gender mainstream with Ambassador Ingebjørg Støfring and programme officer at the Norwegian Embassy, Ms. Sonja McLeod. Photo: The Women's Trust
The Women’s Trust is a key player in raising awareness about gender issues in Zimbabwe. The impact of the project continues to be felt in the different communities. Not only does it empower women in the local authorities, but the broader scope of the project, including the checklist, will equip all levels of local governance to take measures to include women in policies.
For more information on The Women's Trust visit their website