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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
disparity in Zimbabwe parliament upsets women
Mavis Gama, VOA News
September 05, 2013
View this article
on VOA News website
The eighth parliament
of Zimbabwe was expected to set a record in the region and the world
over by achieving a 50-50 representation in the July
Many in the women’s movement were angered by political parties
in the country failing to field more women candidates, especially
when the constitution advocates for such representation in all political
offices in the country.
Zanu-PF and the two Movement for Democratic Change formations fielded
a combined 90 women compared to 663 males who participated in the
elections, a far cry from equal representation.
But more women were able to win
parliamentary seats, thanks to the proportional representation
system. To map the way forward the new women lawmakers met in the
capital this week to strategise on how they can make an impact in
the next five years.
Meeting under the banner of the Women
in Politics Support Unit (WIPSU), the women parliamentarians
agreed there was an urgent need to start restrategising for the
2018 elections as they failed dismally this year to increase the
number of women in the august house in line with the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) protocol on gender and development.
They want the government and political parties to support women’s
participation in politics. Their argument is that women can contribute
more to development of the country, a senior official with the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission has said.
WIPSU programmes manager Patricia Muwandi says her organisation
brought the women lawmakers together at the meeting at the Harare
International Conference Centre to create a platform for them to
reflect on the July 31 elections, share experiences and strategise
for the future.
Muwandi said women are disappointed with the low number of women
who participated in the just-ended elections, adding not much was
done by all the major political parties in the country to implement
the 50-50 representation policy, serve for verbal promises.
over the years has been supporting women politicians in the country,
is disappointed by political parties fielding fewer women in the
July elections preferring to allow female candidates to go into
parliament through the proportional representation system where
60 seats were set aside for women.
Affairs, Gender and Community Development Minister, Olivia Muchena,
said the women who made it into parliament were nevertheless celebrating
their success, irrespective of political affiliation.
WIPSU works with women from across the political divide under the
Women’s Parliamentary Caucus, leading discussions on issues
affecting women’s participation in politics, including helping
them raise their debating skills and related issues.
The organisation is now working on developing what it says is a
women’s agenda to be used by all women parliamentarians to
push policies that will encourage female participation in politics
and also to ensure that whatever they agree on in the women’s
caucus carries the day in the house.
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