Sunday Mail Reporter
The GOVERNMENT has begun recruiting gender and inclusivity officers in all ministries and departments to facilitate the inclusion of underrepresented genders and people with disabilities into the public sector.
The recruitment drive is expected to engender inclusivity and equality in the public sector as enshrined in the Constitution and international conventions the country is signatory to.
Responding to questions from The Sunday Mail, Public Service Commission secretary Ambassador Jonathan Wutawunashe said gender and inclusivity officers will help with gender mainstreaming in the Government.
“The Public Service Commission created the posts of director gender, wellness and inclusivity in all the 21 line ministries in an endeavour to enhance gender mainstreaming in the public service,” he said.
“This is expected to eliminate negative economic, social and cultural practices that impede equality of sexes.
“They will advocate for the implementation and institutionalisation of gender, inclusivity and wellness policies, strategies and programmes and ensure communication and advocacy to all members within the ministry.”
Ambassador Wutawunashe said the new departments are expected to help create equal employment opportunities for people with disabilities in the Government.
“They will ensure that public utilities in the ministry are accessible and do not discriminate against persons with disabilities, as well as co-ordinating the implementation of policies and programmes on the welfare of persons with disabilities.
“These officers will also co-ordinate the formulation, implementation and evaluation of gender mainstreaming, inclusivity and wellness policies, strategies and programmes in the ministry in consultation with heads of departments and make recommendations to the Permanent Secretary.
“They will provide technical expertise on capacity building, knowledge building and management of gender mainstreaming, inclusivity and wellness issues to the Permanent Secretary,” he said.
Developing gender, wellness and inclusivity is in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5, which seeks to achieve gender equality and empower women and girls.
Gender mainstreaming was also identified as a key thematic area under the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).
“Furthermore, financial inclusion of women and youths is also envisaged to reduce poverty, consistent with Zimbabwe’s obligations under the SDGs.
“It is also imperative to recognise that those born with impairments and/or acquired impairment during their lifetime need empowerment to realise their potential towards contributing to overall economic development.”
He said the officers will be responsible for auditing ministries’ policies, procedures and systems to ensure that the working environment upholds every employee’s well-being.