Inadequate maternal health services and water utilities have emerged as major challenges facing women in four Mashonaland Central districts amid efforts by the Institute for Young Women’s Development (IYWD) to establish a gender responsive social services barometer.

Women, particularly those in rural areas have identified poor maternal health services, inadequate water supply coupled with poor roads as the major social welfare challenges they face on a daily basis.

The findings were revealed at a stakeholders’ forum hosted for women, local authorities and government officials by IYWD as part of efforts to address gaps in the social service delivery.

IYWD communications officer Danny Nyamushamba said a lot of information from various stakeholders regarding service delivery has been generated over the past year and this will be articulated in a gender responsive social services barometer to help close service delivery gaps.

“We are saying what can be done to ease the challenges affecting the women, so we are developing a gender responsive social services barometer. It’s not a fault finding mission but our aim is to find out where there are gaps that government and non-governmental organisations can help council to close,” he said.

A strong recommendation was also made that young women collaborate in providing temporary solutions while long term measures are explored.

Districts covered in the exercise include Guruve, Bindura, Mazowe and Shamva.