Gender, Women Participation and Representation in Local Governance: The Case of Chivi Communal Areas in Masvingo

Maxwell C.C. Musingafi, Kwaedza E. Kaseke, Lilian Chaminuka


This study sought to assess gender, women participation and representation in local governance in Chivi communal areas. This study sought to discover the factors that condition the effectiveness of decentralisation policies and strategies in empowering women to actively participate in local governance. Qualitative research was chosen to guide this investigation as the approach would give room for an opportunity to gain insight into the phenomenological perspectives and unique experiences of rural women in Chivi communal areas with regard to their political participation and representation in local governance. The study made use of questionnaires, interviews, qualitative document analysis and observations to gather data relevant to the understanding of the topic under investigation. The study established that decentralisation policies and strategies had made insignificant contribution to involving women in the political processes of their communities. Patriarchy was found to be the biggest socio-cultural factor impeding the successful implementation of decentralisation policies and strategies. It was also established that lack of political will and monitoring and evaluation mechanisms on the part of policy-makers translated to policies and strategies being formulated but hardly implemented. The study recommends that gender sensitisation be used as a weapon against patriarchy. Policy makers are encouraged to ensure that policies are implemented and that they achieve their objectives.

Keywords: gender, women, decentralisation, participation, representation, local governance, communal areas, Chivi, Masvingo

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3240 ISSN (Online)2224-3259

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