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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Women, peace and elections: will we be safe
    The Women's Trust
    July 28, 2013

    It’s time for all women to take charge of the future, and make an imprint in the history of Zimbabwe through participating as voters in the next three days. The number three is significant in many respects, when we gear up to perform an action in synchrony, we usually count one…two…and go at three. Now, on the count of three days, every woman of Zimbabwe SiMuka! Phakama! Stand Up! and Go and Vote.

    The mantra on peaceful elections has been going on across all political parties and it is commendable. However, peace should not be mistaken for silence or inaction. A peaceful body of water may lie still, tranquil and serene, with a deep dark blue reflection of the sky … what can be described as being at peace… but this does not change its character that it is a water body, beneath the surface could be a deep abyss that can contain the most deadliest of creatures, a bedrock of sink sand capable of sucking the life of humans or a treasure trove of jewels to prosper the nation. Peace is the absence of fear, intimidation, violence or harassment.

    Peaceful elections are not an incident free election day, peace goes deeper to pre-during and post election day, peace to one could mean the tolerance, respect, freedom, security and the maintenance of such before, during and after elections. The big question is, will women be safe this election?

    Peaceful elections are essential for women because in the last election of 2008, women were the most affected by the violence that erupted post election. It is the women who bore the most gruesome wounds, physically mentally and spiritually, it is the women who stayed behind watching their property and houses burn down, they got gang rapped, infected with HIV and gave birth to children who are celebrating their fifth year without knowing their father… it is women whose scars bleed like a fresh wound when they reflect on how they were denied treatment, stigmatized and have lived for five years with no healing, recourse, compensation or redress of what happened to them. It is women who have sleepless nights when they are visited by their perpetrator who brutalized and murdered their spirit without impunity. It is women who bear the brunt of violence and it should never again be repeated. Peace should prevail in this election.

    The Women’s Trust would like to echo the message on upholding peace during and after the 2013 harmonized elections. One of the key messages of the SiMuka! Campaign has been on promoting peace among all the stakeholders at both policy and community levels. The traditional leaders are one such key stakeholder that were targeted to champion the message of peace and protection of women and committed to do so through a peace and tolerance contract.

    Did you know?

    Pregnant women, nursing mothers, elderly women disabled persons. Its official you do not have to stand in the queue go straight ahead and vote

    5 things every woman should know this 2013 elections

    1. Know the times-Wake up, SiMuka!, Phakama!, on Wednesday the 31st of July 27, 2013
    2. Know where you are voting - ask, read, listen Google! your polling station
    3. Know who you are voting for - see the ZEC published list
    4. Know what to vote for - read the political party manifestos
    5. Know what you need to vote - Take your ID, Valid Passport and registration slip if you are a first time voter

    5 Dos and Don’ts

    1. Do not wear your political party regalia to vote
    2. You do not have to show the o-fficer your voting slip before putting it in the ballot box
    3. If you have nail polish you will be asked politely to remove it - do not refuse your vote is more important than the nail polish
    4. Do not be denied to vote ask politely if you are unclear about anything
    5. Do take your sunhat, sunscreen, water and lip gloss;)

    Now that you registered, Prepare for the Encounter, It is your right to go and vote, Do not be intimidated, Have no fear, Have your say in the ballot box, Go and vote in your numbers.

    Remember, all you need to vote is; your National Identity Card or Valid Passport and Registration Slip for first time voters. You vote in your ward and your name has to be on the voters roll. Your vote is your secret it is your right. Vote in peace have no fear woman.

    Visit The Women's Trust fact sheet

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