ZCTU developed and adopted the Gender Policy in 2002. The policy was revised and launched. This policy was formulated to provide a framework for ZCTU to develop appropriate interventions and strategies to ensure the involvement of active and equal participation of both men and women in all trade union activities at all levels and in all decision making processes. Although the levels of women membership in trade unions has increased to 44%, high levels of concern have arisen due to nonoperational of the Gender Policy and non-compliance of national unions to formulate gender related policies to ensure equity and equality in issues concerning gender.
The situation at hand entails that women still lag behind in economic participation, in decision making processes at all union levels, lack of access to information and training opportunities provided by the trade unions and are often deprived of an important link between themselves and trade unions on underlining issues such as maternity protection and collective bargaining. The revised Gender Policy aims to provide a forum for discussions to enable participants align the policy with current national policies, conventions and treaties dealing with gender equality issues and eventually formulate strategies on how trade unions will promote gender equality. It is therefore envisaged that respective affiliates will then customize, prioritize and draw activities that will address their unique circumstances within which they operate. Additionally, the policy review will provoke a nexus in strengthening organization capacity of affiliates and creation of condusive environment for equal opportunities.
ZCTU held a workshop for sensitization and roll out of the policy to the top leadership of the ZCTU Affiliates. The workshop consisted of top leadership, women committee members, Gender Coordinators and Youth representatives coming from Forty (46) ZCTU national affiliates representing all sectors.
The proposed workshops achieved the following main objectives: