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Public Policy

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Zambia Chamber of Small and Medium Business Associations

GENDER POLICY

“ZCSMBA - Unlocking the Power of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

Introduction

ZCSMBA, registered under the Societies Act with the Registrar of Societies on the 28th of March 2000 is the largest and most prestigious chamber for MSMEs in Zambia (Reference File ORS/102/35/2205). As a private sector membership driven organisation, it counts among its eighty-nine (89) member business associations that represent over thirteen thousand (13, 000) Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). The total membership is divided into seventy- four (74) business associations, fourteen (14) sector based business associations, one (1) gender based association and 43 corporate members (registered limited company; annual returns in excess of ZMK200M; Staff in excess of 30; initial investment in excess of ZMK120M). ZCSMBA is a non-governmental organization whose mission is to promote the sustainable growth and profitability of MSMEs through lobbying and advocacy for a supportive business environment and by facilitating demand-driven business development services.

ZCSMBA mission and vision statement

To promote the sustainable growth and profitability of MSMEs through lobbying and advocacy for a supportive business environment and by facilitating demand driven business development services.

Corporate Values

The corporate values that will continue to govern ZCSMBA’s development are the following:

Ü ZCSMBA will operate in accordance with the highest standards in all relationships with members, customers, suppliers, environment and the community;

Ü ZCSMBA will foster a climate which will encourage innovation and diligence amongst staff and will endeavour to reward them accordingly;

Ü Results-oriented work within an atmosphere that encourages excellence and high achievement, maintains high ethical standards and provides for professional staff development;

Ü On-going review and evaluation of all that ZCSMBA undertakes to ensure cost-effectiveness and accountability;

Ü Open communication, inclusive decision-making and team-work; and

Ü ZCSMBA sees a clear goal in providing excellent cutting edge BDS facilitation, which will bring a lasting and sustainable relationship and will guarantee its affiliates a thoroughly relevant experience in BDS provision.

Strategic Objectives

o To provide prominent national fora through which business association leaders and members can advance and protect their public-policy interest of MSME business.

o To Facilitate and stimulate the provision of demand driven business development services to MSMEs by business associations.

  • Development of internal management and BDS support systems for dedicated and committed business associations

Background

ZCSMBA has recognised the need for equal and full participation of women and men at all levels of the organisations interventions and in the MSME sector as a whole. In this regard, ZCSMBA is committed to facilitating the process of removing gender imbalances. In order to attain its vision of gender equality, ZCSMBA has formulated its Gender Policy based on International and National standards.

In view of the crosscutting nature of gender, implementation of the policy will entail that all programmes, plans and projects are gender responsive. Deliberate efforts will be employed to ensure that barriers that prevent equal and effective participation of women and men in all ZCSMBA interventions are removed.

This policy statement outlines the commitment to attainment of gender equality as per current situation and in the foreseeable future. It lays out guidelines to address the problem in the Organisation by taking proactive measures of support.

Overall Goal

ZCSMBA’s overall goal of mainstreaming gender equality and women's rights into all interventions implies that all its Programmes have to be proactive regarding equality between women and men, in all areas of its mandate, according to the international and national commitments made.

Objectives and Guiding Principles

The guiding principles supporting the objectives of this Policy are as per outlined in the following International Labour Organisation (ILO) codes of practice.

  • Non Discrimination: Employment and Occupation Convention, 1958, No.111
  • Equal Remuneration for men and women workers for work of equal value: Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951, No. 100
  • Workers with Family responsibilities:Workers with Family Responsibilities Convention, 1981, No. 156 and Reccomendations No. 165
  • Employment Promotion:Employment Policy Convention, 1964, No.122; Employment Policy Recommendation, 1984, No. 169, Human Resources Development Convention, 1975, No. 142 and Reccommendation No. 150; Termination of Employment Convention, 1982, No.158 and Reccommendation No. 166.
  • Working Conditions: Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981, No.155 and Recommendation No. 164
  • Maternity Protection, Work and Family: Maternity Protection Convention, 1952,No. 103

Objective 1: Adopt and develop an institutional wide approach and methodology for gender mainstreaming

Guiding Principle: An approach and methodology will be identified and developed for successful incorporation of a gender perspective into all of ZCSMBA’s interventions in a manner which influences goals, strategies, resource allocation and outcomes. ZCSMBA will therefore outline its corporate gender mainstreaming strategy, which should be adopted, acknowledged and followed by management, staff and members.

Objective 2: Identify entry points and opportunities within ZCSMBA's work

Guiding Principle: Opportunities and entry points must be identified for introducing gender mainstreaming into ZCSMBA's and its members work and implementation. These opportunities should include all phases of the work from planning programmes and projects to policy development and decision making, in order for the ZCSMBA to produce gender aware outputs. The most important aim within this objective is to make these entry-points visible and accepted within the organisation so that they are used and developed within the particular context by ZCSMBA management, staff and members and routinely recognise them for their importance and necessity.

Objective 3: Identify linkages between Gender Equality and Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Development

Guiding Principle: This implies identifying and outlining linkages between gender equality and the issues/areas or sector of the Institutions mandate. In ZCSMBA's case this means paying attention to linkages between gender roles and responsibilities within the area of MSME development. Outlining gender linkages in the areas of ZCSMBA’s mandate will strengthen the understanding of why promoting gender equality and women's rights are important in achieving the goals of sustainable development that have been identified for MSMEs.

Objective 4: To develop institutional capacity and knowledge to enable gender mainstreaming within ZCSMBA

Guiding Principle: The final policy objective is in regard to the development of competence and knowledge within the Institution. ZCSMBA members should adopt the guidelines developed by the ZCSMBA secretariat. The challenge of ZCSMBA's management is to set aside adequate resources and allocate time for ZCSMBA to strengthen its knowledge and capacity of gender mainstreaming.

All the four mentioned objectives above imply a strengthened knowledge and competence of the staff in order to identify when gender mainstreaming should be carried out and how it could/should be done. This therefore demands a learning process, as was mentioned above, to take place among management, staff and members within ZCSMBA to be able to:

  1. promote and implement gender sensitive programmes,
  2. initiate analysis of gender roles and relationships,
  3. gender mainstream policies and activities guided by these objectives and,
  4. promote gender equality as a cross-cutting goal in MSME interventions.

Commitments to reaching ZCSMBA’s Gender Policy objectives

The above overall objectives for ZCSMBA’s work imply that management, staff and members give regular input in order to gender mainstream their work within the field of MSME development. This has implications for all staff at the Programme level in ensuring the following aspects in their roles as planners, decision-makers and implementers in MSME development. The policy objectives outlined above, are here linked to implications and demands on ZCSMBA management, staff and members:

(1) Adopt an institutional wide approach or methodology to mainstream gender

  1. Ensure that effort is made to mainstream institutional-wide guidelines and policy documents to acknowledge and ensure that a gender perspective is a formal part of planning and decision making within ZCSMBA’s interventions.
  2. Develop institutional guidelines for gender mainstreaming, linked to the work programmes, both for specific issues/areas within the ZCSMBA's mandate, as well as on an overall level.
  3. Ensure gender mainstreaming is acknowledged on all levels and adopted as the strategy for integrating a gender perspective and supporting women's rights in all activities of ZCSMBA.
  4. Identify and promote adequate tools/instruments for follow-up and monitoring, such as indicators and benchmarks, within all interventions implemented by ZCSMBA and its members.
  5. Establish and strengthen accountability mechanisms within ZCSMBA to ensure gender mainstreaming of all its interventions in all review processes.
  6. Ensure gender components are included in all interventions when collaborating with partners and agencies.

(2) Identify entry points and opportunities within ZCSMBA’s work programme

  1. Promote the avoidance of discrimination and hardship for both women and men in order for the development processes to avoid impoverishment of women and men.
  2. Implement accountable processes of development for both women and men, within the field of MSME development in general and in the ZCSMBA's activities in particular.
  3. Ensure that women are active participants in ZCSMBA’s programmes and projects, and that they are always equal partners and stakeholders at decision-making forums.
  4. Collect and analyse relevant data on stakeholders (including target groups) for all activities and ensure that the outcome of these analyses is actively used in programme/project implementation.
  5. Promote and support the development of gender-disaggregated data.
  6. Ensure that knowledge within the field of gender mainstreaming is gained through the above mentioned aspects.

(3) Identify linkages between Gender Equality and MSME Development

  1. Outline and acknowledge how women and men experience development differently within specific areas of ZCSMBA’s areas of work.
  2. Outline how women and men contribute to and gain from human settlements development differently.
  3. Understand and acknowledge how ZCSMBA interventions have different impacts on women and men.
  4. Identify international Declarations and Conventions adopted or ratified by the international community in general and the specific country in particular, that ensure women and men equal rights, opportunities and possibilities, which could be used as references in diverse activities.
  5. Take into consideration relevant national policies based upon international Conventions and Declarations adopted to ensure and promote gender equality and women's rights within the national legislation.
  6. Acknowledge and cooperate with already active bodies, such as NGOs, civil society groups and community-based organisations and individuals in the field of interest and make use of their knowledge and capacities, as well as strengthen them in their work.
  7. Ensure gender components in all collaboration with partners and other agencies are in place.
  8. Analyse the importance of globalisation and urbanisation on gender roles, as well as identify emerging opportunities for women, vis-a-vis, the changing cultural context, and diversification of employment opportunities for women.

(4) Develop institutional Competence by allocating staff time and resources

  1. Avail adequate resources to be spent on gender mainstreaming in the form of development of competence through training, workshops, handbooks, manuals and guidelines.
  2. Allocate adequate staff time.
  3. Earmark resources (both financial and regular staff time) for training and capacity building. This form of institutional learning should be encouraged and supported by management within ZCSMBA.
  4. Raise awareness on issues relevant to the goal of gender equality and promotion of women's rights and empowerment.

Monitoring and Evaluation

A monitoring and evaluation plan is in the process of being developed that will assess the impact, effectiveness and sustainability of the ZCSMBA Gender Mainstreaming strategy and these will involve:

- Key performance indicators

- Means of Verification

- Responsibilities

- Period or Time Frame (Timing)

- Critical Reflections

Conclusion

This policy and its implementation is translated into the goal of at least 40% participation of women in all ZCSMBA interventions.

Member Associations

ZCSMBA as a member association reflects and spreads this policy to its members which are associations embracing micro, small and medium entrepreneurs. This is done through regular association with organisations/stakeholders that have a bearing on the efforts that go toward promoting gender equality.

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