11 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Join Lobby Groups, Women Told

The Zimbabwe Women's Resource Centre and Network has urged women to be part of organisations that lobby for their participation and contribution in the budget processes to avoid situations where they complain that they were not consulted on certain issues.

Speaking during a discussion with women at a "Womenomics" Dialogues held in Harare last week, ZWRCN executive director Mrs Naome Chimbetete said women cannot take part in the budget process individually, but as a group as they were the only ones who can say what they want and how they want it done.

"We cannot let men do the planning and budgeting for us, we need to be active in the processes and really come together and make our voices heard, but we need to do that as a group instead of individuals, because there is power in numbers," she said.

She added that women have been disadvantaged by the lack of knowledge on how the budget comes about hence they have not been fully participating in the process.

"Women need to be educated so that they know how they can be part of the budget. We need to begin at grassroots level so that each woman knows how she can contribute to the economic growth of the country and how they can make their concerns heard and considered in the budget," Mrs Chimbetete said.

Women have expressed the need to educate each other on the dissemination of information so that they understand what the budget allocation to their sector means and how they can make the funds available work to their best advantage.

"For anyone to make a meaningful contribution, it has to be within a specific sector. It is important therefore to have sector-specific dialogues so that women know how to progress within their sector and be able to access funds to finance their businesses," Mrs Chimbetete said.

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