Women fight for political relevance

Women in Mutare have added their voices on the growing calls for women to register and vote for female candidates in the forthcoming elections.

Monica Mutsvangwa

Women from various districts in the Manicaland province who attended a voter registration awareness workshop in Mutare yesterday organised by Women Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCZ) said despite the violence against women at election time, they were geared to fight for their political relevance.
Selina Tabveseri from WCZ encouraged woman to fight for their voting rights.

“As the election nears I want to urge all the women to go and register as voters so that we can all exercise our right to vote. As woman we should remove the fear that is associated with pre-election violence,” Tabveseri.

Annia Muroiwa said violence in Zimbabwean politics made it impossible for women to even come close to politics.

“We have noted that even after the Constitution reserved 60 seats for women, we have become subjects of ridicule, verbal and physiological violence. All this has forced some women not to be interested in politics. We are facing so many challenges that are hindering us from entering this male-dominated field,” said Muroiwa.

The Women Parliamentary Caucus  chairperson Monica Mutsvangwa has said electoral systems in Zimbabwe continue to be male-dominated, focusing more on competition than gender balancing.
She said: “Political parties continue to be dominated by men and therefore proportional representation is the most likely tool that will see an increase in women legislators.”

Mutsvangwa added that political parties were still primarily male-dominated and women were socially discriminated against.

Zimbabwe has failed to meet the Sadc 50% quota for women in top positions including Parliament.
There are 85 women parliamentarians in the National Assembly compared to 185 men.

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