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Women aggrieved by lack of consultation prior to formulation of NDS1

 Women in  have raised concern over government’s failure to consult citizens during the development of the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).

This was said during a workshop which was conducted by Women’s Institute for Leadership Development seeking to interrogate the document sensitivity to gender dynamics. The workshop was attended by female councilors from Bulawayo and aspiring women leaders.

Making her presentation on the gender responsiveness of the NDS1, America Ndlovu who is a gender expert highlighted that some aspects of the NDS1 are not gender sensitive which can be due to the fact that consultations before the document’s drafting were limited to a small number of women.

“However, as women we need to rise up and support one another and take up leadership positions, acquire skills, take ownership of productive asserts, and engage to break these stereotypes so that we participate in these key processes that determine our future,” said Ndlovu.

Women who attended the workshop shared similar sentiments.

“It is with no doubt that there were no consultations of women before the formulation of this document that is why even when you look at it, out of a 133 paged document gender issues are only in one page which still takes us back to the previous failure of former blueprints where there was no gender responsiveness,” said another participant.

Madhlakela who is a development practitioner gave an overview of the NDS1, emphasising that it is a progressive document and cited its 14 priority areas.

The National Development Strategy 1 is the government’s blueprint which will run from 2021 to 2025 and it incorporates most of the Sustainable Development Goals. The document has 14 key areas that include economic growth and sustainability, food and nutrition security, moving economy up the value chain, infrastructure and utilities, digital economy, housing delivery, governance, social protection, image building, environmental protection, youth sports and culture, health and wellbeing, human capital development and devolution.

The document was praised for its inclusion of a monitoring and evaluation plan.

“This economic blueprint is not very different from other blueprints in terms of strategy for example the ZIMASSET but the difference it has from these others is that it has a system of monitoring and evaluating progress and this will assist in the tracking of implementation. The implementation will make this blueprint completely distinct from other blueprints,” he said.

Participants came up with recommendations on gendering the country’s development strategies for the betterment of the economy.

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