Bulawayo City Council adopts gender-responsive budget

Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has adopted a gender-responsive budget for 2024, with a focus on catering for the needs of women, children, and people with disabilities (PWDs).

The local authority adopted a ‘standstill’ budget of US$264 million with the revenue budget pegged at US$ 167 462 100 and the capital budget at $96 602 316.

Speaking during the budget presentation in the council chamber on Monday, the chairperson of the Finance and Development Committee, Ward 26 Councillor Mpumelelo Moyo said that women constituted the larger number of people who attended the budget consultations, and their input was considered in coming up with the final budget.

“Women constituted 52 percent of the total residents that participated in the budget consultative meetings while men constituted 48 percent. In general, Bulawayo has more women than men. The city has a total population of 665 940 of which 307,983 (46%) are male and 357,957 (54%) are female according to the Population Census Report (2022). Given a sex ratio of 86 males for every 100 females the import of this figure is that Council cannot ignore gender issues in its budget,” Cllr Moyo said.  

“In preparing for the 2024 budget, Council considered gender and inclusion issues by ensuring that the gender focal persons and gender champions are included in all budget planning meetings and their input was invaluable. City of Bulawayo used WhatsApp platforms, newspaper adverts and Council websites to disseminate information on GRB process. The Budget Sub-Committee of the Council was exposed to Gender Responsive Budgeting through attending workshops organized by stakeholders such as Gender Links and the Ministry of Local Government. 

“The views expressed were recorded and taken up to promote informed decision-making by the Council Management. Going forward there is a need to have online surveys disaggregated by sex and disability for the stakeholders and the community to express their views; this will be a faster and broader way to engage with the community at large. The challenges encountered during the budget consultation were lack of time and poor turn out of community members and stakeholders because of the election period.” 

Cllr Moyo also said that the local authority acknowledges gender budgeting as an essential part of good local governance.

“In that regard, the Gender and Disability Policies were adopted in 2017 to further promote gender equity and social inclusion. These policies address the component of Gender Responsive Budgeting as they seek to promote gender-sensitive and inclusive environments,” he said.  

“Other policies that currently address gender and employee welfare that are in place include recruitment and selection, sexual harassment, employee wellness, youth, safety, health and environment and the City of Bulawayo code of conduct.”  

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