A statement released by the SADC Parliamentary Forum Election Observation mission to Zimbabwe noted that all the political parties failed to field a woman candidate for the presidency.
“Out of the 853 candidates for the national assembly, only 109 (13) percent were women,” read the statement.
The mission leader, Situmbeko Musokotwane, a Zambian member of parliament, told delegates at Cresta Lodge in Msasa on Saturday that: “Of the five nominated presidential candidates, there were no woman”.
Zimbabwe Union of Democrats founder, Margaret Dongo, said 50/ 50 representation in decision making positions should be implemented at party level.
“It is silly that women politicians agree to be sidelined in the last hours of the struggle yet parties promised to implement gender equity,” said Dongo.
An interim statement by a local non- governmental women’s organisation revealed that of the 420 candidates vying for the national house of assembly seats, 44 were women.
Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe revealed that despite affirmations by the new constitution that women’s participation in decision-making posts was to be guaranteed, there were few women who participated.
“Many women were disenfranchised due to lack of adequate time and voter education around the whole electoral processes,” read the report.
Zimbabwe is a signatory to the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development, which calls for the equal proportional representation of men and women in politics by 2015.
According to the WCoZ statement: “Zanu (PF) and the MDC- T fielded 44 women candidates out of 420 national house of assembly contenders”.
The organisation also noted that many young voters were turned away because their names were not on the voters’ roll.
“Key observations made by WCoZ during the voting process include a worrying and prevalent trend of assisted voters, including very literate individuals,” read the statement.
WCoZ observers noted that these cases were prevalent in rural areas such as Mutoko South, Chiweshe, Zaka North and Chipinge and Bikita South where the number of assisted voters ranged from 30 to 80 per polling station.
“This could be an indicator of possible intimidation,” read the statement.Post published in: News