Women hold talks on constitution

emilia_muchawaHarare - Zimbabwean women will hold urgent talks to decide their participation in the constitution writing process in which they are seeking equal representation. (Pictured: Womens Coalition of Zimbabwe chairperson Emilia Muchawa)

This follows the dismissal by the Parliament Constitution Select Committee of their petition in which they were demanding a gender balance in the managing of the constitution process.

Womens Coalition of Zimbabwe chairperson Emilia Muchawa told Radio VOP that her organization was going to hold an urgent women stakeholder meeting to consult the members opinion. Our participation in this process is important because we are the most beneficiaries, but however we are going to convene an urgent meeting to deliberate on the decision which has been made by the Parliament Select Committee(COPAC). Its unfortunate that they have not yet formally communicated to us their decision to reject our petition.

As a membership driven organization we need to meet and find a common ground, it is only after the meeting when we are going to reach a decision on whether we should participate or not.

What we are saying is that women representation in all the thematic committees is very low, and we have been saying that since the onset of the process, but no one seem to bother about our request. Yes we were given the chance to submit names of female members whom we wanted represent us in the process but they were not selected. We do not understand the criteria they used in selecting people to represent organizations and that are where our query lies. We are not sabotaging the process but crying for gender equality, said Muchawa.

The Parliamentary select committee on Monday said the petition by women organizations was not valid. The petition by women organsation last week was a political posturing on behalf of political actors who do not seem to have the guts to confront their political parties and organizations. As we see it the demand is illegitimate and driven by selfish political motives, said one of the select co-chair Douglas Mwonzora. The consultation was supposed to start this week and has been postponed indefinitely following irregularities which emerged in the accreditation of delegates to spearhead the outreach process last week. The Women’s Coalition is a coordinated network for the empowerment of women and girls through lobbying and advocacy, capacity building, information dissemination and resource mobilization and has a membership of more than 35 women organizations in Zimbabwe

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