ABSTRACT: Gender inequality is the most persistent and pervasive global problem of the 21st century militating against the attainment of sustainable development in patriarchal societies. Several forums have noted the centrality of gender equality and concerns of women’s empowerment to the achievement of sustainable development. Promotion of gender equality is thus an important part of any development strategy. Thus, the research focused on analysing how society perceives the concept of gender equality and women empowerment, factors that militate against the achievement of gender equality in the society and its role in sustainable development. In gathering information, the study employed in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. The findings of this paper indicate that gender equality improves people’s participation in community development programmes and leads to healthy families and increased food productivity. The paper concluded that women empowerment and gender equality are essential tools in the achievement of sustainable development in Zimbabwe.
KEY WORDS:gender; gender equality, community,empowerment, sustainable development