A top MDC-T official has blasted the 50-50 gender quota system meant to assist female politicians vying for senior party positions, arguing promotion should be based on merit.
Addressing guests at a Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI) meeting in Chinhoyi on Tuesday, Mashonaland West MDC-T deputy secretary Edeline Chivimbo-Huchu said the female quota system was unfair.
She said the system caused “female under-achievers and low performers being rewarded for political patronage” ahead of their deserving male counterparts.
“The idea that we, women, are not at par with our male counterparts is exacerbated by the gender quota system which political parties have adopted to reserve political seats and government posts for women.
“We should not clamour for posts to be reserved, but instead we should prove our worth. Why should we have parliamentary constituencies reserved for us? Are we not capable of contesting men from an equal political playing field?” she said.
Chivimbo-Huchu’s remarks come in the wake of reports the MDC-T wants to reserve 100 of the 210 parliamentary seats for female candidates in the next general elections.
Stephen Ndoma, a principal researcher at MPOI, said a recent mini-national survey had observed women shunning politics and urged individual political parties to motivate their female supporters to be actively involved in politics.
Ndoma said the introduction of 50-50 gender quotas in political parties would increase the participation of women and ensure their ascendancy to decision-making positions.
The inclusive government should ensure women are protected from violence and intimidation during polls, the think-tank added.