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This article participates on the following special index pages:

  • New Constitution-making process - Index of articles

  • Gender audit of COPAC draft Constitution
    Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWLA)
    February 18, 2013

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    Introduction and Background

    The Constitution-making exercise being conducted under the terms of the GPA has now come to the end of the drafting stage. The Group of 20 and the Women's Coalition have participated actively in the Constitution making process by carrying out its own public consultations and producing a Position Paper of women's expectations of the new Constitution.

    Zimbabwe is party to three international agreements on the rights of women at the international, regional and sub regional levels: the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Protocol to the African Union Charter on Human and People's Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development. All three agreements enjoin member states to have Constitutions which adequately address the rights and needs of women .

    Position Paper

    The Position Paper submitted by ZWLA to COPAC during the outreach stage identified four broad needs that women expected to be addressed under the new Constitution namely, recognition, equality, inclusion and protection and suggested the specific constitutional formulations to address these needs, including the drafting language which borrowed from best practices in other Constitutions.

    The first official draft ("the COPAC Draft") consisting of 18 chapters has been prepared and made available to the public on July 17, 2012. The Women's Coalition and Group of 20, with the technical analysis of ZWLA and support from UN Women, have scrutinised the draft and this paper is a discussion of their assessment of the extent to which the draft meets the expectations of women as contained in their Position Paper and conforms to international standards on the protection of women's rights in Constitutions.

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