“It is very true the state of services delivery in our entire provincial locality, rural and urban areas is in a bad state and young women suffer the most both as recipients and caregivers in their families and communities. It is important that they actively take part in council chambers, WADCOs (Ward Development Committees) and VIDCOs (Village Development Committees) where decisions are made and influence local authorities priorities. ” these were remarks by a representative from the office of the Minister of State and Provincial Affairs at a stakeholders meeting to yesterday launch IYWD’s report on a Survey on Young Women’s Access to and Quality of Social Services.
The research findings which covered three basic services of water, sanitation and primary health care indicated how the unavailability of these services disadvantages especially young women and girls more in their communities. In most of the areas covered by the research young women and girls spend a lot of time in search of water instead of being in school and miss out participating in activities by civil society organisations to empower them . As the IYWD launched the report, it sought commitment from the different stakeholders present to join hands with the organisation awareness raising, promoting practices that ameliorate the situation and most importantly ensure that young women and girls become part of decision makers on social services in their localities.
The different stakeholders who participated in the meeting included were representatives from the office of the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs,the Ministry of Women’s Affairs Gender and Community Development, the Ministry of Labour and Social Services, Provincial and District Administrator’s from the 4districts covered in the research and other civil society organisations that included , ZimRights, Africa Publishing and Development Trust (ACPDT),Real Open Opportunities for Transformation Support (Roots), New Ziana and young women representatives from the areas covered by the research. CSOs were urged to engage the ward coordinators and health workers whose efforts are hampered by lack of resources and work with them as assistants in awareness raising and changing perceptions and attitudes of communities towards practices of responsible citizenship viz a viz social services. All the participants were in agreement that there was need for strong collaborations between the NGOs, the local councils and the government ministries for a collective effort towards helping the situation. IYWD was encouraged to ensure that they also need to hold local government authorities at local level accountable. Follow the link to download the full report:
The meeting in pictures