By Fiona Mpofu (Umthaphi)
Covid-19 is one of the slowing down factors in the mentoring of young women in leadership positions, said councillor Sikhululekile Moyo at a meeting recently held in Bulawayo by the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCOZ).
When Covid19 began, a lockdown was introduced in Zimbabwe and this led to the young women having fewer face to face engagements with their mentors and councillor Moyo, this resulted in the loss of about 15 mentees.
“I had 22 mentees of these, one of them ran for office in the primary elections and still aspiring to run again in her ward. The other ones went quiet when covid19 started,” said the councillor.
She is also mentoring a young woman who wants to run for council in her ward and when talking to Amakhosikazi media she said she was happy to do so as this meant that her council seat will be taken over by another woman.
“I am inspired to see another woman take over than man because I am still fighting the fact that fewer women are participating (in leadership positions) so if it’s a woman and a young woman for me it’s not a challenge,” said Moyo.
She said some of the challenges they face as women in leadership include the lack of resources as people assume that getting into office means that one immediately gets a financial boost.
“They think that as a leader I am empowered, in terms of resources, unfortunately when you are in leadership you get to be poorer and people don’t understand that you won’t be having the money or resources because they will be expecting that they will be assisted into the small projects that they want to do.” Said councillor Sikhululekile
Bulawayo City council gender focal person Mrs Audrey Manyemwe added that the Women being mentored in leadership suffer from inconsistency as they are easily distracted.
“We end up not achieving the quota that we want and that is what we are aiming for. We want women to take positions on an equal basis as men, to be able to influence decisions that matter in government that matter in local authorities but when people are not focused they lose the goal and we can’t reach that target,” said Manyemwe.
She added that in Bulawayo we do not have young women in leadership, in councils and in parliament and this affects the representation of young women’s challenges in these spaces as the platforms are run by men.
Councilor Moyo said there is a need for resources to motivate the young women to continue attending the leadership roundtables.