Women in Local Government (WLG)

The Women in Local Government Subcommittee’s membership is drawn from Gokwe (Chairing), Kariba (Vice Chair), Beitbridge, Lupane and Norton. These are female elected leaders (Mayors/Chairpersons) of the stated councils.
The WLG Subcommittee is the only subcommittee represented in the UCAZ Presidential Committee by its chairperson. This is provided for by the UCAZ constitution as a way to promote the participation of women in decision making at the highest level of the Association.
The International Union of Local Authorities (IULA) Declaration on Women in Local Government adopted in Harare in November 1998 made a passionate appeal to national government to “recognise national association of local governments as important partners in the development, promotion and support of gender equality at the local level, and in the exchange of experiences at the international and national levels”. It is true that women continue to be marginalized in local government despite appeals from central government and women’s pressure groups. Although several reasons which militate against the participation of women have been discussed in several fora and sound resolutions made, progress has remained thin on the ground. The following impediments have also been cited – lack of equal access to resources to achieve gender equality, the challenge of changing awareness and eliminating dirty attitudes, the increase of violence, outright dissemination, poor support and assistance from political parties, lack of adequate legislative framework and lack of political will.

Establishment of the Women in Local Government Forum

The UCAZ 59th Annual Conference and General Meeting at a meeting held in May 2000 adopted the IULA Worldwide Declaration on Women in Local Government and endorsed the formation of WLGF.
On 17 November 2000 women councillors and senior council administration staff launched WLGF. Through WLGF, women will cease to be observers in the implementation of instruments such as the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Beijing Platform for Action and IULA Worldwide Declaration on Women in Local Government. WLGF will collaborate with the national machinery for gender and women movements to contribute to the social, political and economic empowerment of women in Zimbabwe.

Objectives

WLGF’s objectives are:

Membership to WLGF

Although WLGF is made up of women in the political and administrative sectors of urban councils, a structure to facilitate the participation of other women has been put in place. WLGF has set up a Network of Women in Urban Councils (NOWUC). Membership to NOWUC is open to individual women resident in urban areas and women organisations interested in urban local governance.

Terms of Reference

 Participating in the promotion and implementation of all women’s empowerment laws
 Promoting the participation of and support for women candidates in urban council elections
 Participating in national, regional and international for a on gender
 Creating a close link with women in rural district councils
 Lobbying and advocating for UCAZ gender policy