Guruve — Local authorities have been challenged to come up with policies that are gender sensitive as Zimbabwe continues to make strides in promoting gender equality at grassroots level.
This follows reports that women are battling to access basic facilities like maternity clinics.
Speaking on the sidelines of the commemorations of belated World Menstrual Hygiene Day in Guruve last week, Gender Links Zimbabwe Country manager Ms Priscilla Maposa challenged local authorities to be more gender sensitive.
The commemorations were characterised by a donation of sanitary wear to St Francis and Chipangura high schools by Women Coalition of Zimbabwe in partnership with Gender Links.
"We are encouraging councils to make sure that they come up with policies that are gender aware, said Ms Maposa. Councils must consider the fact that they have got men and women in their communities who have got different needs, so through the works that we are doing with councils, apart from us helping gender action plans, we also develop gender- based action plans with these local authorities.
"The reason being that the issue of reducing gender based violence is a national issue, but we would want community by community to take ownership of reducing issues to do with gender based violence."
Ms Maposa applauded all the country's councils for having taken a giant step towards implementing gender action plans.
"As Gender Links, we are working with all the 92 councils in Zimbabwe, among them 60 rural district councils and 32 urban councils, so through our work with these councils we develop gender action plans which are monitored by Gender Links and on an annual basis these actions plans are monitored by independent adjudicators," she said.
"The aim of the gender mainstreaming programme is to ensure that councils come up with gender responsive policies and programmes."