Patriarchy still a scourge to development in remote areas

By Marvellous Matswimbo Community Based Organisations (CBO) from Matabeleland have raised alarm over the continued existence of patriarchal societies despite many advocacies for equality. Speaking in a meeting organised by South Western Region Gender Network (SWRGN) on 29 December 2020, Stacy Nyathi of Matobo Youth Development Initiative (MYDI) said, women in remote areas are still excluded from community engagement programs as they are viewed as inferior to man. “In most rural areas there is still low participation of women, girls and youths on issues that are related to local governance and civil processes and this is not because they are inexperienced but because they are still being deprived of the opportunities to compete and prove themselves, patriarchy is still the order of the day”, said Nyathi. The end of year review meeting which was on local governance was also graced by Hope for Children and Youth Foundation Trust, Maranatha Orphan Care Trust and Souls Comfort Trust. As a way forward and a step towards ensuring gender equality and equity, Mrs Chele Nyathi, the director of SWRGN said, it is important to raise awareness by firstly unpacking and defining the term gender equality as many people mistake it for a term that is used only for women and girls. “We do researches and investigations to ensure that gender equality starts from CBOs themselves going down to the communities and the challenge is that most people when they hear the term ‘gender’ the first thing which comes to their minds is women, so people need to be educated and the term gender equality should be unpacked”, she said. She added: “As one of the educating measures, we deliberately engage men in our programs because they are the change agents, we cannot talk about them without involving them.”