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This article participates on the following special index pages:

  • 2008 harmonised elections - Index of articles


  • Women's watch - Bulletin 3 / 2008
    Veritas
    February 11, 2008

    Initiatives to prevent and deal with pre- and post-election violence
    WiPSU: In the run-up to the 2008 election, WiPSU, through its structures in the constituencies it works in, has been undertaking training workshops, designed for community leaders, women and youths, focusing on the themes of peace-building, safety and security. WiPSU has been assisting women in communities to create their own support teams which will monitor member’s whereabouts and safety in case of violence, and to give each other help or seek help from other organisations when the networks are activated. Teams are taught basic safety and security mechanisms that will serve to avoid incidents of violence and ensure the safety of women in any situation. Training is based on scenario- planning and designed to build confidence in women and capacitate them to assist in maintaining a secure and peaceful environment before, during and after the election period.

    Elections
    Nomination day has been postponed to this Friday 15th February and nominations have to be in before or on that day. Last day for voter registration is Wednesday 13th February, and for inspecting the voters roll, Thursday 14th February. Elections for President, Members of Parliament , Senators and local councillors are set for Saturday 29th March.

    Women Candidates
    We urge all women candidates lodging nominations to see that their papers are in order so they are not turned down at the last moment.

    Nomination requirements:

    Parliamentary [House of Assembly and Senate]
    Candidate must:

    • be a citizen of Zimbabwe
    • be a registered voter (not necessarily in the constituency in which he or she wishes to stand)
    • be 21 years old or more [for Senate must be 40 or over]
    • have been ordinarily resident in Zimbabwe for at least 5 years during the period of 20 years immediately preceding the nomination

    Material to be submitted to nomination officer:

    • properly completed nomination form (form V8 – obtainable from ZEC Provincial Offices) including signatures and details of at least 10 nominators who must be voters registered on the roll for the constituency concerned, and, where candidate standing for a political party, countersignature by an authorised official of that party
    • passport-size photograph
    • non-refundable deposit of $100 million

    Local authority council
    Candidate must:

    • be a citizen of Zimbabwe
    • be a registered voter on the roll for the council area concerned (not necessarily in the ward in which he or she wishes to stand)
    • be 21 years old or more

    Material to be submitted to nomination officer:

    • properly completed nomination form (form V22 – obtainable from respective Local Authority Head Office) including signatures and details of at least 5 nominators who must be voters registered on the roll for the ward concerned, and, where candidate standing for a political party, countersignature by an authorised official of that party
    • passport-size photograph
    • no deposit is necessary.

    Presidential. . . hopefully next time
    Note although the regulations do not specify taking an ID it would be an advisable precaution to have it with you. Also to check and double-check that your forms have been correctly filled in and all the information requested on the form is provided [e.g. drawing and description of party symbol].

    Update on SADC gender protocol
    The NGO Southern African Gender Protocol Alliance meeting in Johannesburg challenged leaders of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to put their money where their mouths are by adopting a binding protocol for promoting gender equality at their August 2008 summit. [Note: the 1997 SADC Declaration on Gender and Development is a statement of agreed principles rather that a legally enforceable international agreement.]

    Since 2005, the Protocol has gone through seven different drafts, and it faced major resistance ahead of the 2007 SADC Summit, resulting in key provision being removed or whittled down. A new Draft has been prepared reinstating some of the important provisions, but the Alliance agreed that there are further provisions that need to be reinstated or strengthened. Between now and the August SADC Summit in South Africa, lobbying efforts will focus on ensuring that:

    • The Protocol use obligatory language like “ensure” instead of “endeavour”
    • The Protocol state explicitly that where there are contradictions between customary law and Constitutional provisions for gender equality, the latter is given precedence
    • The rights of socially excluded and vulnerable groups be recognised and protected
    • Marital rape [which is recognised in the laws of six SADC countries] is reinstated in the definition of gender violence especially in view of the need to protect women in marriages against HIV infection
    • There is recognition of the rights of property, inheritance, custody etc for cohabiting couples
    • There is more recognition of the gender dimensions of HIV and AIDS [such as female controlled methods of contraception, sexual rights, etc]
    • Provisions on education are strengthened to cover early childhood development, career planning, vocational training and effective policies in addressing schoolgirl pregnancies [which in the current draft are no longer specifically mentioned]
    • Provisions on access by women to government and other State-controlled procurement opportunities are reinstated
    • Specific targets are added for mainstreaming gender in the media, and media practice.

    The Alliance roadmap involves intensive lobbying and advocacy in-country and at a regional level, including offering technical support where this may be required, through to the August summit, where it plans to hold a parallel civil society forum and launch a high profile campaign for the adoption of a strong Gender Protocol.

    Update on protocol on rights of African women
    The Parliament of Zimbabwe has approved the Protocol and the Government is following the administrative process of ratification. Before the recent AU Summit there was a Solidarity Of African Womens’ Rights [SOAWR] Review and Agenda Setting Meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 22 - 24 January 2008 on the theme: Building an Accountable African Union: Perspectives of the African Women’s Movement. The meeting reflected on the national and continental campaign experiences on the rights of women to date with a view to laying down continental strategies for the full ratification and the effective implementation of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa by Member States.

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