Women make better politicians: Chirisa

Fanny Chirisa (61), the head of the Women in Politics Support Network believes with the right support, women are better politicians than men.

Fanny Chirisa.
Fanny Chirisa.

Chirisa who has spent most of her life grooming women to take up positions of power, said she always pushes women not to settle for less.

“Politics is where everything happens, so women should strive to get an equal share,” she said. Chirisa has, through the Constituency Consultative Forums, which WIPSU introduced in 2003, helped to promote grassroots women to participate as village heads, chiefs or parliamentarians.

Her work has not been in vain as she has been recognised for her efforts in the women’s movement.

Last year she received the Ndichirimupenyu Award (while I’m still alive) from the Zimbabwe Women Filmmakers Festival and was a runner up in the 100 Unseen Powerful Women Award. She is still deciding whether to retire or join politics.

“I believe I have done so much in my time and even if I’m to die today, I will die a happy woman.”

She attributes her success to the divorce she went through while young and her mother’s inspiration.

Her mother, a social worker and a member of home craft club then, introduced her to women’s clubs. Chirisa’s work with different grassroots groups exposed her to the realities women faced daily.

WIPSU also runs a programme called empowerment and capacity building to encourage female politicians.

“We have the same women being called upon to wear different hats. So what happens when we grow old and there are no younger women to take over from us?” asked Senator Thabitha Khumalo.

Maureen Kademaunga, secretary for international relations in MDC-T, said young women faced challenges of lack of resources and a hostile environment.

“As long as women keep quiet and do not claim their space in politics it will remain a male preserve,” said Vimbai Nhapi, former Child President in Zimbabwe. “We need to come out of our comfort zone and make a difference during our time.”

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