City officials say the recent successful defence of a regional award recognizing excellence in mainstreaming gender, is a testimony of the stride the local municipality is making to empower women.
Speaking after the City of Mutare retained the best overall Urban Local Authority at the 2020 Southern Africa Development Corporation (SADC) Gender Protocol at Work Summit hosted by the Gender Links, spokesperson Spren Mutiwi said it's an award in recognition of a progressive work ethic.
The Local Authority was honoured for outstanding contributions to the promotion and empowerment of women and ending Gender-Based Violence, out of 54 Local authorities that participated, with 28 of them were urban.
Mutiwi said such recognition among participating local authorities showcasing their best practices on gender mainstreaming as institutions, was the testimony of the holistic gender mainstreaming approach taken by the council.
"We have set up our local authority management such that every department, even the male-dominated ones, have gender champions in their set up. We have taken gender issues seriously as the council.
"This award reflects the fact that as a council we have taken the issue of gender in a wholesome and holistic manner," he said.
Mutiwi added that through the recognition the City of Mutare will now represent Zimbabwe at the SADC gender national summit scheduled for South Africa.
He said the city is also preparing for the upcoming 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, marked annually by a 16 km walk from Zimunya into the central business district.
"We are now going to be representing the country at the upcoming SADC national summit, which is scheduled for South Africa although with COVID 19 we are not sure how it will take place.
"We are also pushing ahead with our annual plans to commemorate the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence which is in November. As a council we walk from Madziro in Zimunya which is 16 kilometres, each kilometre represents a day," said Mutiwi.
As a pacesetter in championing gender issues, the City of Mutare is also officially recognized in the country as a training hub centre where other local authorities learn how to implement holistic gender policies.
Gender Links is a Southern African NGO that is committed to a region in which women and men are able to participate equally in all aspects of public and private life in accordance with the provisions of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development.