Today, Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD) conducted a Meet the Candidates Series with candidates running for House of Assembly and Local Government in Gwanda Central. The aim of the meeting was to foster engagement between residents, especially young women and those vying for office in the soon to be held 2018 harmonised elections. Political parties represented during the meeting comprised of Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP), the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance (MDC- A), Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU), and the Movement for Democratic Change Tsvangirai (MDC-T). During the meeting it was revealed how young women are now resorting to prostitution due to the low employment opportunities in the area. Property rights were also identified as an issue that young women felt should be addressed by aspiring Members of Parliament (MPs). Young women suggested that upon election, the parliamentarians should lobby for formulation of policies that will improve young women’s access to land and property. This was identified as the major reason why young women fail to access loans, as most financial lending institutions require collateral. Due to rampant unemployment levels in Gwanda, residents cited a difficulty in accessing title deeds considering the exorbitant amount that they are required to pay up front. Young women lamented the unavailability of Councillors to address issues that relate to public social service delivery. Local Authority leaders are said to be in the habit of not availing their expertise on anything that mainly affects young women.
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