By Staff Reporter

Council through the facilitation of Gender Links, a regional gender mainstreaming advocacy Initiative, engaged media in Harare to iron out barriers characteristic of the media and local governance institutions in communication of gender mainstreaming issues.

While gender mainstreaming has become a topical issue globally with Zimbabwe standing as regional implementation icon, the Local Authorities Blue Print adopted on November 1 2023 which adopts Gender Mainstreaming Budgeting rendered this meeting most opportune.

The role the media had to local governance and vice versa could not be underscored by participants and organisers with calls to amend issues that rmained sticky.

“It is important to note that the role the media has for us local authorities is important as we at times rely on them for our notices, advertising and publicity. It however remains a relationship marred with challenges as at times media have gone to publish misconstrued, unconfirmed, and biased stories.” Manyame Council Chairperson, Clr Israel Dhikinya said.

Furthermore, “The media are an intergral part of our operations as our operations in service delivery are important to them. However, challenges have come at times when the media opt to publish unverified one sided stories. We call for a more prolonged working relationship between council’s and media that promotes service delivery.” Making Rural District Council Chairperson, Clr Francis TendaiTakayengwa said.

A Journalist who declined to be identified emphasized that, ” It remains important for us the Media as the fourth Estate to collaborate in upholding accountability and service delivery when dealing with Local Authorities and we expect the same of them.

Government emphasized commitment to see to the implementation of gender mainstreaming budgeting, with calls for media and civic society to compliment existent efforts.

“As the Ministry we value the role that our gender focal person’s have in facilitating gender mainstreaming. We also value the role media have in telling the stories from local authorities as they unfold. We call for professional conduct from both the local authority representatives and media in carrying out their duties.” Gabriel Masvora The Ministry of Local Governance and Public Works Public Director of Media and Communication said.

Gender links commended government for their progress in implementing gender mainstreaming policy and called for the media and local authorities to collaborate to inform on implementation progress accountably.

“On the specific background of the recent Local Authorities Blueprint, promulgated on the first of November as here most relevant and other gender mainstreaming practices and policies that the government has implemented. It is important to note and com.end government effort and call to action us as civil society, media and local authorities to play our roles in the implementation process.” Genderlinks Country Manager, Priscilla Maposa said.

The meet followed a Genderlinks facilitated interface between Council CEO’s, Mayor’s and the local governance ministry that centred on gender sensetive budget mainstreaming.