Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 provides for Gender Equality, which is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. Providing women with platforms that help them engage Duty Bearers help improve their representation in political and economic decision-making processes.
It is in pursuit of such a goal that a women led Community Accountability Action Team (CAAT) conducted a community interface meeting in Zaka ward 19 on 6 October 2018.The meeting offered an opportunity for community members to engage with duty bearers on critical human rights issues that affect their community. The meeting was attended by a total of 57 people (31 men and 26 women). Among them were 4 village heads, ward 19 Councillor, 2 teachers and 3 village health workers, Health Centre Committee members from Jerera satellite clinic, Siyawareva clinic and St Antony (Musiso)Hospital.
Issues discussed include unfair distribution of inputs, corruption and environmental pollution. Community members noted that these issues posed a serious threat to social cohesion and fuelled conflicts in communities. Community members also noted that the unavailability of medication at most clinics fuel dissent and conflicts in the area. This is because health facilities provide a neutral meeting point to bring conflicting parties to discuss mutually beneficial interventions with the support of health workers who are ideally placed because of their professional and ethical position within the community. Community members also noted that access to quality health was a fundamental human right that is enshrined in Section 76 of the constitution. This provision states that, “Every citizen has the right to have access to basic health-care services, including reproductive health-care services”
Community members also lamented the continued meddling of political parties in the distribution of Agriculture inputs and food aid. Community members resolved that ward Councillors were supposed to convene ward assembly meetings where the District Administrator will be invited and proffer solutions to a plethora of problems devilling the community. Further to this, Heal Zimbabwe will facilitate for affected community members to report cases to the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) in line with Section 233(a) that compel independent commission to support and entrench human rights and democracy.
A CAAT is a group of women and youths from diverse political and socio-economic backgrounds working together to build peace and demand social accountability from duty bearers. Heal Zimbabwe has in the past trained CAAT members in Community social accountability, governance and democracy. Interface meetings are just one of the strategies employed by CAATs to hold duty bearers to account and promote community participation in democratic processes.