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WiPSU newsletter - Issue 1
Women In Politics Support Unit (WIPSU)
January 31, 2013

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WiPSU's political education

WiPSU held a public meeting on women's political education which saw women from different sectors of the society coming together to learn more and develop an understanding of politics. Running under our campaign, 50/50 representation, the meeting sought to conscientise women about the importance of women's participation in politics so as to increase their number in decision making processes.

Women in Zimbabwe constitute more than 52 percent of the population but are disproportionally represented in decision-making positions and in national politics. This is usually because of the patriarchal society where men are viewed as the leaders and women are the subjects. However, women's participation in politics is important to ensure that decision making takes into account women's perspectives and concerns so that legislation, policies and other facets of the national agenda become gender responsive. Participation of women in politics advances women's rights and ensures incorporation of women's interests, concerns and priorities in governance and national development processes at all levels.

The meeting was well attended by women from different sectors of the society including MPs, politicians, teachers, artists, business women, traders, vendors, nurses and students among others. As the women were educated about politics they were also taught on how to participate in politics including registering to vote, becoming a member of a political party, contesting for leadership positions and contributing to electoral processes as polling agents or observers.

Speaking at the meeting, Zanu PF deputy secretary for women's affairs, Cde Eunice Sandi- Moyo applauded women for taking up the challenge as they are now leaders in different sectors but encouraged them to continue working for equal representation.

"As women we are not yet there, the question we have to ask ourselves is how are we voting, how much noise are we making so that women are voted into power, let's not sit back but continue to fight for equal representation of women," she said.

MDC Deputy Chairperson of the women's assembly, Ms. Elizabeth Chinyanga, encouraged to continue fighting for their cause saying women have as much capacity as men have. Giving the analogue of Adam and Eve, she said, when God created men, he was not enough unless Eve came into his life. She said no decision should be made unless women are there.

In a speech read on the behalf of MDC T chairperson of the women's assembly, Hon. Theresa Makone, by Ms. Sally Dura, she mentioned that Zimbabwe's politics is male dominated because women are misinformed and not empowered.

"We lack resources because we are not there when decisions are made. However we need to be part of political processes happening," she said.

She also highlighted factors inhibiting women to venture into politics which include political violence, lack of time as women are the labourers who are busy looking for water, firewood and taking care of the family and therefore have no time for politics as well as the media which continually projects women in a negative way.

"We need to find time to create a working relationship as women so that we support each other, as well as to invest in knowledge sharing to empower ourselves so that we do not feel inadequate," she said.

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