Despite the fact that women constitute 52 percent of the population there are few in influential positions. Those that are, are labelled women of loose morals.
"The Pull Her Down Syndrome is sadly one that most women suffer from – regardless of status in society," said Chitsike. RAU held 11 focus group discussions with women from different parts of the country to talk about politically motivated violence and explore ways to protect women from violence as elections approach.
"We established that the PHD is holding women back – as they do not support other women to occupy leadership positions," said Chitsinde.
The research established that when a woman is standing for a political position, she has to struggle for acceptance from her peers as petty jealousies, based mainly on gossip, rear their ugly heads.
"The main reason for women selling out other women is seldom for their political affiliations but mostly because of the PHD syndrome; politics provides a perfect cover for women to settle scores that have accumulated over years," said Chitsinde.
Apart from the PHD syndrome women also stereotype each other on marital status basis.
"Another issue that features in the political PHD syndrome is marital status; if a woman is single, involved in politics and successful the most common misconception is that she used unscrupulous mainly immoral means to get to the top," noted the research.
According to the research, women involved in politics have to work twice as hard to gain respect in order to impress other women.Post published in: News