The call for an elections without reforms is a blow to women who constitute the majority of the population because of anti-women clauses in the current constitution, a deputy minister has said.
Speaking during the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women in Mutare on Thursday, Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development deputy minister Jessie Majome said section 23 of the current constitution gives licence to discriminate women and it needs to be reviewed.
“Early calls for elections are anti-women and as women, we will be saddened to have elections with a constitution that licenses discrimination.
“It prohibits empowerment in various senses and it discriminates against women especially the family law.
“It is a vertical Bill yet we are advocating for a horizontal one which is practiced everywhere,” she said.
Majome, who is also Copac spokesperson, said this is the only opportunity to change the notorious section and replace it with progressive laws guaranteeing women empowerment.
Zanu-PF has been calling for elections with or without reforms contrary to Sadc calls for reforms first before polls.
Majome also said the government is frustrating the full implementation of the UN resolution that is set to strengthen empowerment of women in the country.
“The problem that we have in Zimbabwe is that there is non-domestication of the Cedaw (Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women). There is lack of appreciation on the need to ratify it. This is what is happening with other treaties which are gathering dust without being fully domesticated,” she said.
“There is lack of knowledge and the will to do it because (since it was signed) there was no one who was opposing it.
“We need to ratify the optional protocol which will then allow women to report abuses directly to the UN,” she said.