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is the voice of young women in politics
June 27, 2013
Is it because
young women are not saying anything at all or their voices are just
not being heard in the political arena of Zimbabwe? The participation
of women in general is worrisome, not to mention the Zimbabwean
young women. It is quiet disturbing that young women do not really
voice out their concerns, their voices are just enveloped in either
young people’s voices or women’s voices and their real
voice nonexistent. The young women in Zimbabwe are thinking they
are already at a disadvantage by the mere fact that they are young,
worse off the combination of being young and being a woman. This
is becoming clearer even as we approach the Zimbabwean 2013
harmonized elections. Most young women do not even consider
taking a prudent step by going for voter registration.
Of cause Zimbabwe
has done a lot in addressing gender equality and women participation,
in fact the Zimbabwean government is a signatory to various regional
and international conventions, treaties, declarations and protocols.
Zimbabwean women have also been put at an even greater advantage
by the recently passed constitution
which expands women’s rights. Despite all the significant
processes and changes being made in the areas of legislation, reform,
the legal, socio, economic and political participation of young
women remains very low. Young people have everything to gain from
the democratic processes of the country and young women have an
equal opportunity and they should take advantage of this. Women
make a greater percentage of this country so they should be contributing
more to the political and democratic processes of Zimbabwe. It should
be highlighted that the contribution of women in the electoral and
any other political processes is very essential in the emergence
as well as consolidation of democracy. The current situation proves
that young women are preoccupied by other issues and it never occurs
to them that this is the moment for them to take charge and make
a change for them and for the future generations.
of young women in Zimbabwe tend to resent any political process
and they do not want to be affiliated with any political party.
All they do is murmur about how uneasy the situation in Zimbabwe
has become and how a democratic transition can bring changes in
their lives. They do not know the power they hold and how revolutionary
it can be.
cannot entirely blame the Zimbabwean young women for being voiceless
and not taking part in the political processes. Although a lot has
been done to enhance women participation, there are a lot of impediments
to their active participation and the political climate is still
very hostile for women in general and even worse for young women.
Already, young women are at a disadvantage than young men as they
tend to be exposed to less political information and discussion
than are young men. Young women generally get less encouragement
to run for office or being part of any political activities than
young men. This starts even at college where young women’s
involvement in politics is accompanied by a lot of criticism, attacking
of private life and gender prejudices. Young women, thus carry this
with them into the community and they just stay as the bench warmers
in politics. Even when they get into politics, women tend to drive
men’s agendas and never for their fellow women. This is the
reason why Zimbabwe remains with just a handful of women politicians.
In 2009, the
inclusion of women in the cabinet increased with women getting significant
posts including the Vice President Joyce Mujuru, President of the
Senate, Edna Madzongwe and the Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe.
There are a lot other women in power but most of them have not been
doing much towards the elevation of young women into political positions.
These women representatives should be promoting democracy and encouraging
young women to actively participate but it seems some of them contribute
to the violation of women’s rights to peace and choice during
elections. Women’s decisions are generally made for them by
their counter parts, who are in turn influenced by men in power.
The ordinary women are indirectly told what to do, what to like
and the party to vote for, therefore suppressing their voices.
lot of dynamic, versatile and talented young women who can make
a change and these young women just need to put their heads up and
stick out for themselves and for the rest of the young people. This
is a call for the young women of Zimbabwe to actively participate
in the current democratic process. Young people are the game changers
and young women should know that they can make a difference. As
an organization for young people, the Youth Forum strongly advises
young women to take a stance in the 2013 harmonized elections and
contribute in making a change for the Zimbabwean young people. The
future is in our hands and we know what is best for us so let us
not be left out in this progression.
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