Let’s Promote Gender Responsive In Policymaking For Women’ s Participation 

By Edward Makuzva 

Women’s Democracy Network Zimbabwe, (WDN-ZW) a registered organization which promotes women’s participation in leadership, politics and governance processes as well as gender responsive policy making in Zimbabwe launches 10 days of Activism to promote gender responsive policymaking for women’s increased participation in public life.


In an interview with this publication, WDN-ZW, Executive Director Sally Ncube revealed that the campaign will run from today (28 August) to September 6 targeting diverse stakeholders and duty bearers key to advancing women’s participation in governance processes through amplifying trained gender champions and women leaders advocacy actions.


Ncube highlighted that the anticipated outcome for the campaign includes increase stakeholders’ awareness on barriers to women’s inclusion and participation, strengthened responsiveness of duty bearers, public support for women’s leadership, political will by duty bearers, and increased action by diverse state and non-state actors to address barriers to women’s participation in public life through active participation and advocacy for gender responsive policy making.


WDN-ZW Executive director reviewed that during the campaign period, 3 online policy dialogues will be convened by gender champions to create platforms for access to information, engaging with policy makers and sharing inspiration and best practices to activate collective action for gender responsive policy making advocacy to address barriers and create an enabling policy and political environment for women’s inclusion and full participation in public life in all governance processes and structures.


“WDN Zimbabwe believes that if male and female Gender champions are trained in gender responsive policy making and provided support and platforms to develop gender responsive policy making initiatives, this will significantly contribute to meaningful advocacy and duty bearers’ responsiveness on gender responsive policy interventions to address barriers to women’s participation in public life.

” In 2021 WDN Zimbabwe mobilized 83 gender champions who were trained on gender responsive policy making to end gender based violence in Harare province, provided with technical support to analyse public transport policies, draft policy recommendations and engage duty bearers.

” In 2022 WDN Zimbabwe also launched the Zimbabwe policy round tables initiative in June 2022 for female leaders from various political parties and organisations across Zimbabwe to increase knowledge and network of women leaders to enhance their influence for gender responsive policies towards women’s political participation”, Ncube explained.

Ncube added that policy solutions identified included development of a model policy with standard operating procedures that political parties can adopt to prevent, respond, safeguard women from effects of violence against women in politics, development a standard/model policy of a gender responsive candidate selection policy and gender responsive budgeting advocacy for political parties resources.

“To build on the WDN -ZW and WDN Africa policy round table outcomes, commitment, advocacy momentum and facilitate for implementation of policy advocacy priorities that emerged from the policy round tables, WDN ZW in March 2023 commenced implementation of an intervention to increase the capacity of 30 gender champions consisting of civil society actors, government officials and community leaders to promote gender responsive policies that address barriers to women’s full participation in public life in Harare metropolitan province in Zimbabwe”,

She added the initiative objectives are to train approximately 30 gender champions (to include males and females) on gender responsive policy making and provide technical support to promote gender responsive policy interventions to address barriers to women’s full participation in public life in Zimbabwe and to launch a media campaign to raise awareness on gender responsive policies to address barriers to women’s full participation in public life in Zimbabwe.

Ncube said the intervention recruited, conducted a situation analysis on training needs of identified gender champions, developed tailor made training curriculum, trained gender champions responsive policy making using Gender Responsive policy making and Transformative alliances tool kit developed by the International Republican Institute. and now providing ongoing gender champions with technical support for trained gender champions to implement the action plans developed.

She added that WDN Zimbabwe trained a total of 30 gender champions on gender responsive policy making from 28 to 29 July 2023. Gender champions trained were from Zengeza, Chitungwiza, Mabvuku, Dzivarasekwa, Avondale,Norton, Zimre park, Cold comfort, Glen view , 3, 1 and 7; Budiriro, Seke, Hatcliffe, Greendale and Hatfield areas in Harare consisting of university students, college lecturers, politically aspiring candidates, civil society organisations, journalists and community members. 2 men and 1 woman with visual impairment also participated as both gender champions and co-facilitator in the training.

The gender responsive policymaking training workshop sessions covered Module 1 on Introduction to Gender Responsive Policymaking facilitated, Module 2 on Problem Identification facilitated and Module 3 Policy design, Module 4 on policy adoption, Module 5 on Policy Implementation and Oversight facilitated by and Module 6 on Transformative Alliances.

Ncube revealed that after the training gender champions developed action plans which they are in process of implementing in their communities to apply knowledge and skills gained.

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