Participation of Women in Developmental Issues in Nkayi District, Zimbabwe

Whitehead Zikhali


The study sought to investigate the participation of women in development issues in Nkayi district, located in Matabeleland North of Zimbabwe. This study was carried out because of several questions on the role women played in development issues. The study mainly focused on three key objectives; to analyse women’s participation in community development, to explore effects of women participation in economic development and to trace development in the community through women participation in policy dialogue and decision making processes.  To answer the research question, the study used a qualitative research paradigm because it is culturally specific and contextually rich in the data that it produces. A sample of twenty-four (24) women participants and four (4) key participants were identified using the convenience and purposive sampling techniques respectively. Research instruments that were used in data collection were Focus Group Discussions, In-depth interviews and observations. Research findings reflected that agricultural projects are at the centre of community development and women are involved in poultry farming, animal husbandry and vegetable production in Nkayi. This has resulted in poverty alleviation, making it easier for the community to address its social needs. The community has been able to develop infrastructure, for example, construction of schools that are in a bad state in the district. The study also discovered that some women were not enjoying the benefits of their agricultural projects because of gender based violence, a factor attributed to less participation in policy dialogue and decision making processes. Basing on these findings, the study recommends the Zimbabwean government to prioritise women’s involvement in the implementation of development programmes that support farmers, for example the recently introduced Command Agriculture which supports farmers with inputs. The programme supports women who are involved in agricultural productivity by boosting their income. Women should also participate in policy dialogue and decision making processes that affect them negatively.

Keywords: Community Development, Economic Development, Policy Dialogue and Decision making.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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