“We want a large number of women running for council and parliament seats this coming election. It is time for real permanent power sharing, women ruling side by side with men, allowing their voices to rise and be heard,” said Marukutira while officially launching the Norton Council Gender 50/50 Representation at All Levels Programme, this week.
Marukutira said Norton Council was the only local authority that had strived to achieve equal representation of men and women.
“I am the second most powerful person in the council after the Chairperson, out of 15 councillors there are five female councillors of which another female councillor is a chairperson of a committee and one department is headed by a lady as well,” she said. “In the pending election, the MDC-T is fielding eight female councillors who won in the primary elections held recently.”
Marukutira said there was a need to create space for women to participate effectively in politics and nation building.
“Issues of harassment, violence and abuse of women have to be addressed as they discourage women from participating in politics,” she said.
The new constitution has provisions for a quota system of 60 uncontested Parliamentary seats for women candidates. It also introduces a Senate 50 percent quota by the zebra system allocated by proportional representation of parties that must submit a party list of women and men alternating, with a woman on top of the list.
Marukutira said the quota system provided greater access for ordinary women to the political sphere.
“Women should be supported to participate in politics and take up strategic decision making positions both within government structures and within political parties,” she said. “There is a need for capacity building and training initiatives for women leaders to focus on building women’s collective strength.”
The 50/50 Gender Programme, which also saw the production of a ‘Norton Girl Child Documentary’, was sponsored and supported by Gender Links and Women in Politics Support Unit.
Addressing the same gathering, Norton Town Council Gender Focal Person, Deputy Director of Housing, Tichaona Rampiyawo, said the local authority would next year have a gender focal person for every department.
“The council is determined to have a Gender Focal Person in every department and set a budget meant to run gender issues,” he said.
Norton Ward 3 Councillor and Audit Committee Chairperson, Mollen Rutsate, composed a song titled “16 March, Gender 50/50 Representation” which she sung during the launch.Post published in: News