Women Rights Group Drafts Own 2022 National Budget

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By Thandiwe Garusa

WOMEN’s Academy for Leadership and Political Excellency (WALPE) has drafted a 2022 national budget, which, among other things, prioritises key social services critical to women’s needs.

The draft will be submitted to Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube before he presents his 2022 national budget in Parliament next month.

Addressing MPs during a breakfast meeting Tuesday, Sitabile Dewa, the WALPE director, said the women’s rights organisation had focused on its draft, all areas that affect the women the most.

“We are proposing a budget allocation of $132 billion for the education sector, health sector $108 billion, water and sanitation $7.055 billion, energy $1,275 billion, women empowerment $1,105 billion,” she said.

“The total budget is $249 billion.”

She added; “Government must recognise, reduce and redistribute Unpaid Care and Domestic Work (UCDW) to promote women participation in leadership by increasing funding for education and health so that girls can travel a maximum of five kilometres to the nearest school for primary school and eight kilometres for secondary school, and women should access a health centre within a radius of 10 kilometres.

“Promoting women from violence, including sexual harassment in the public and private spheres and fulfillment of the 50/50 gender equality provisions of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and reducing the cost of internet data to cater for Covid-19 home-schooling.

“Reduce the burden faced by women and fill the 9 000 teacher shortage gap in the education sector by recruiting more teachers to cater for smaller Covid-19 classrooms.”

Dewa said the government should develop policies after consulting with all stakeholders.

“The government should develop policies in consultation with diverse groups of women and girls through CSOs (civil society organisations), churches, political parties, informal economy associations, smallholder farmers, private sector, cross border traders and commercial sex workers among various other diverse groups of women.”

She also said the Finance Minister could adjust the proposed figures but the key ministries they crafted the 2022 national budget should be prioritised.