Gender Budgeting: Prospects and Constraints in the Eyes of the Women Informal Retail Traders in Zimbabwe

International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume I, Issue III, March 2017 | ISSN 2454-6186

Gender Budgeting: Prospects and Constraints in the Eyes of the Women Informal Retail Traders in Zimbabwe

Thokozani Khupe1, Mandla Nyathi2, Watchy Ruparanganda3

  1PhD Candidate, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Zimbabwe, Mount Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe
2Lecturer, Faculty of Commerce, National University of Science and Technology, P. O. Box AC 939, Ascot, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
3Lecturer, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe

Abstract: – This essay is essentially an extract of a wider PhD research study on the informal sector and women empowerment in Zimbabwe. This paper uses a tripartite prism of structureagency, sustainable livelihoods and feminist empowerment theories to explain, through reflective account, the prospects and constraints for gender budgeting as a tool of women empowerment in Zimbabwe. The broad aim of the study was, therefore, thus to explore potential for and missed opportunities in gender budgeting using the eyes of women informal retail traders. The research approach of this study was threefold in approach. First, it used responses to open-ended questions in the questionnaire used in the main study. The second approach involved use of focus group discussions while the third approach relied on the participation and observation. The main argument of the paper is that study highlights fall into five categories, namely role of state institutions, clarity of frameworks and processes, budget input by women, budget outcomes and monitoring as well as culture. The paper notes the positive initiatives that promote and challenges that hinder gender budgeting in Zimbabwe. The paper contributes to the existing body of knowledge in social sciences by bringing a different perspective of analysis and evidence. It also contributes to this growing body of knowledge by focussing on the narratives of the women informal retail traders, now a dominant market force in Zimbabwe. The paper will be of interest and value to different readers, including social scientists, policy makers and casual readers reading for the sake of reading.

Key words:- Gender budgeting, structure agency theory, sustainable livelihoods, feminism poverty theory, flea market, women’s bank.

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