Zimbabwe’s Annual Manufacturing Survey features a Gender Analysis component
Date: Wednesday, November 1, 2017
The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), an umbrella organization for more than 300 private sector companies, launched on October 25 its annual assessment of the manufacturing sector, which for the first time included a gender analysis of women in the sector.
Entitled Growing Manufacturing Competitiveness, Realities and Realignment, UN Women Zimbabwe and CZI partnered together for the first time to produce the annual manufacturing sector survey, which is Zimbabwe’s leading analysis of the performance and competitiveness of the sector which contributed about 10% to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2017. “This survey has become a reliable source of information to government. It provides a scan of the business environment and it identifies the issues to be addressed,” said the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Dr. Mike Bimha at the launch.
The country office began its engagement with the private sector in December 2016, when CZI and UN Women Zimbabwe convened a high-level dialogue on Women in the Economy: The Business Case for Investing in Women to Build a Strong Economy. An outcome of this was a decision by the CZI Executive Committee to establish a desk within the organization to focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment within the private sector.
UN Women Zimbabwe and CZI agreed in early 2017 to partner on the Annual Manufacturing Sector Survey, which included the country office’s participation in the design of the research instrument, in the field research, and in the development of the gender analysis of the findings. The country’s leading financial newspaper, Financial Gazette, published an extensive news report on the gender findings one day after the launch.
The gender analysis in this year’s survey provides a baseline to track women’s empowerment and changes within companies to promote gender equality and women’s leadership. One of the key findings of the survey is that the number of female Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) has risen from only 5% in 2016 to 13.45% in 2017 with about half of the female CEOs heading some of the country’s largest corporations. The findings also show that 47% of companies headed by women are classified as “large”, that is employing 100 or more employees.
Overall, the CZI survey shows that women are only 20% of those employed in Zimbabwe’s manufacturing sector. Of these only 39% are employed full-time. Most of the women in the sector are employed as contract/non-permanent employees, which limits their opportunities for further skills training and capacity development. Companies that send staff for training and capacity development indicated in the survey that 91% of those sent are males. And while 80% of those in the sector are males, respondents indicated a higher level of absenteeism among the male employees. Women are employed primarily in the foodstuffs, textile and ginning, and clothing and footwear sectors.
In her opening remarks at the launch of the survey, the UN Women Zimbabwe Country Representative, Ms. Delphine Serumaga, welcomed the continuing partnership between UN Women and CZI. And she called on the private sector “to take note of the data presented and to become leaders in accelerating the pace of change in gender equality in Zimbabwean industries.”