The SADC Protocol on Gender and Development set a 50 percent target for women to occupy political positions. To date Zimbabwe’s Parliament has only got 16 percent women in political positions – a far cry from this target.
This, in my view, has to do with how women conduct themselves in society. Our culture and history from time immemorial has shown that women run the family matters. Women were the ones who grew the crops, cleaned the house and fed and washed babies while men were out in the forest hunting.
The man would usually spend the whole month in the field and only come back with a kudu on his shoulders. The question is – could that kudu feed the family for a whole month? Definitely, not. The above analogy shows that women had more responsibility than their male counterparts. Why then are there so few of them in positions of leadership in the country? Women must exhibit qualities like courage and endurance if society is ever going to allow them to be leaders.
In the city I saw young girls and women engaging in sexual activities in exchange for a plate of sadza. In the rural areas women sell their bodies to all kinds of men in exchange for money to go the grinding mill. Instead of working hard in the fields to grow their own crops, some widowed or poor women choose to supplement their income by engaging in immoral acts.
These women really need a paradigm shift in their behaviour if their desire to take up leadership positions is to be taken seriously. – BYRON MUTINGWENDE, HararePost published in: Letters to the Editor