Resource allocation sidelining women, youths: Zimcodd 

Source: Resource allocation sidelining women, youths: Zimcodd – NewsDay Zimbabwe

RESOURCE allocation in natural resource-rich areas is said to be biased against women and youth.

This was revealed in the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (Zimcodd)’s latest report on inequalities in public resource allocation in Zimbabwe.

The report states that gendered inequalities affect communities in mining areas the most, while poor service delivery in urban areas severely affects women’s rights.

“Public service delivery in Zimbabwe is generally poor. Viewed in gendered lens, it is evident that Zimbabwe has a long way to go with regards to the fulfilment of women’s rights, especially where public service delivery is concerned.

“While it is commendable that some city councils have taken action to improve the quality and nature of service delivery, the gendered aspect remains neglected,” the Zimcodd report read.

It said in gold mining areas such as Gutu district, there was rampant discrimination against females and youths in terms of access to mining rights.

“In Gutu district, Zoma goldfields became a harbour of exploitation and discrimination against women and youth towards the benefits of the precious minerals in the country. The goldfields became active in 2012 where mines were allocated to individual miners. The allocation sidelined women and youth as witnessed by the disaggregated allocation of mines; where only 1% of women benefited, 3% of youth and 94% of youthful men received mining titles,” Zimcodd revealed.

Zimcodd also decried sexual harassment of young girls in gold mining areas, which is indicative of lawlessness and poverty.

“Many youths in the area are employed as extractors, yet they are still in abject poverty as they are grossly underpaid, with no protective clothing provided for them, while carrying out mining activities, leaving them vulnerable to injuries and even death,” Zimcodd said.

Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG) executive director Farai Maguwu said the major challenge in the mining sector was its politicisation, which had left women and the youths sidelined.

“Once titles are given on the basis of political affiliation, the corrupt and the politically connected are the winners. A few women that are politically connected are benefiting. Most women need to break through hurdles to participate in the mining sector,” Maguwu said.

Zimcodd also feels that female vendors are some of the most violated traders by municipal police and have not enjoyed freedom of their profession.  The organisation said the nature of Zimbabwe’s economy was informal, hence vendors were desperate to create their own employment.

“There must be gender responsiveness in the context of socio-economic rights to ensure that the needs of women and girls are met. Gender responsiveness is a precondition for sustainable development. This can be achieved through gender-mainstreaming in policies and strategies,” Zimcodd said.