Bulawayo women demand equality and equity in service delivery

By Sethulo Ncube

Bulawayo women have demanded for equality and equity in service delivery stating that they are treated unfairly when it comes to service delivery.

Speaking in a meeting held at Bulawayo Progressive Resident Association (BPRA) boardroom on Monday 17 December, Audrey Manyemo a Bulawayo City Council (BCC) Gender Focal Person (GFP) said issues do not have to be one sided; there is need for everyone to contribute in the decision making involving the citizens of the state and one person should not decide for everyone as each person has a different point of view.

“Issues do not have to be one sided for them to be solved, issues of service delivery in homes, hospitals and even outside on the streets mainly affect women; they are the ones almost in charge of everything that is happening around and yet they are not included in the decision making that will affect them at the end of the day”, said Manyemo.

Another speaker Ntombizodwa Khumalo a member of (BPRA) said there is need for women to stand up with their children when it comes to issues of service delivery because it affects them more than it affects the men, women need to stand up and pave a way for their children’s future.

“Women need to partake in meetings of gender responsive budgeting and in decision making because issues that have to do with citizens affect women in the end; Women are not included in decision making because they are undermined and the views they bring to the table are not considered valuable”, said Khumalo.

One of the issues raised was that of women needing proper service delivery when it comes to maternal health care. Women lack care during their stay in maternity wards because men do not know what is often needed there for the care of mothers and their babies and and may not consider it when budgets are being done; that is why there is need for women to also partake in decision making to avoid such things the women participants said. 

“Many clinics no longer provide the maternity services, while those that provide the service are short staffed and ill equipped leading to the neglect of pregnant women who end up in danger during their delivery”, added Ntombizodwa.

Nokuthula Mpofu one of the participants said, women were given a chance but always chose men instead of other women to lead. 

“Women need to show togetherness and be there for each other, in place of women choosing each other women choose men to be in charge. The bug that is in people's minds that men are the only ones who are able to lead should be removed and the issue of masculinity destroys people’s minds”, said Mpofu.

Manyemo went on to say women and men need to be on the same level and women should not strive to take over property after their spouses have passed on.

"Claiming the property to be under a women's name is a long process that demands a lot of money to be pumped out. Therefore couple's names are now written together to avoid the difficulties that women have to deal with when their spouses pass on.

Ms Khumalo said Bulawayo Progressive Resident Association (BPRA) and Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD) organised the meeting to talk about issues of gender and also talk about issues that affect women when it comes to service delivery.