The Zimbabwe Women’s Resource Centre and Network (ZWRCN) has expressed concern that government is not prioritising gender development with the ministry of women’s affairs getting a paltry allocation in the 2014 National Budget.
BY OUR STAFF
ZWRCN said the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development’s budget allocation was less than 1% of the US$4,3 billion National Budget and yet it played a crucial role in the development of the nation.
The ministry, whose main mandate is to ensure that Zimbabwe meets its commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment got a paltry US$10,8 million or 0,26% of the 2014 national budget. In 2013 the ministry received US$10,1 million.
“What can women of Zimbabwe expect from a ministry that is getting just 0,26% of the national cake?” said ZWRCN in a statement.
The women’s group said one of the key strategies in the recently launched Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset) was availing and increasing economic opportunities for women.
But it said the budget did not provide for adequate allocation towards the full functioning of the Gender Commission. ZWRCN was also concerned that there was no allocation at all for the Anti-Domestic Violence Council.
The ZWRCN urged the government to allocate resources to the council in order to scale up efforts to eradicate domestic violence. According to the 2011 Zimbabwe Demographic Health Survey, in 60% of cases of violence, the victims are women and girls.
ZWRCN had expectations that the ministry would get generous allocations so that it could implement its programmes and strategic commitments.
“The limited gender financing from the fiscus has resulted in the ministry relying on external support from donors; this cannot be sustained in the long term,” it said.
The group said an important initiative by the ministry was the Women Development Fund, which has since its launch in 2010 up to 2013, supported the economic empowerment efforts of 1 147 women’s groups.
“Given its significance, unfortunately the ministry received no disbursement of the allocated US$2 500 000 in 2013. In 2014 the allocation has decreased by a significant US $50 000,” said the statement.