Young women leaders from Pumula suburb, continue to bear the brunt of the massive social stigma that has been long attached to women in leadership.
During a Mock Council meeting, Infocus News caught up with young female leaders who narrated the different service delivery challenges in Bulawayo City Council’s Ward 17.
Young women highlighted the 144 hr water shedding scheme as a thorny issue and recommended that the Councillor should increase the number of bowsers that are distributed to different wards to improve access to water for citizens.
Talent Mpofu, who is a leader of the COVID-19 task force in Bulawayo’s Ward 17 said since her election, she has been dealing with different challenges which include lack of support from the community.
“Ever since I started working in the community as the leader of the COVID-19 task force, my experience has not been a great one. Elderly community members have not been working well with me citing that I have little knowledge about issues because am still young but I have since strengthened my knowledge on service delivery issues and have become a resource for knowledge on service delivery issues in my ward,” she said.
Another female leader Memory Sokosi from Bulawayo Ward 27 said other young community members should involve themselves in debates that will improve access to water so that they do not experience abuse when they fetch water at different water points.
She urged young people to work with each other as they are the future leaders.
“It is sad that other young people especially women, discourage others from pursuing leadership positions. You will realize that they make fun of girls who want to take a lead even in youth community meetings yet as girls we should be encouraging one another to take lead and groom each other towards being leaders.
“At water points, women face abuse especially because men tend to take advantage of us and manipulate us as we do not present a united front as women,” Sokosi said.
Bulawayo Ward 17 Councilor Sikhululekile Moyo said the biggest challenges women leaders face include fighting gender stereotypes and managing several roles such as primary caregiving. She urged young women leaders to take up leadership positions whenever an opportunity is presented to them.
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