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Polls coverage: Women cry foul

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THE Zimbabwe Women Lawyers’ Association (ZWLA) has accused the mainstream media of not affording female politicians space and time as the country heads for the watershed harmonised elections on Wednesday.

REPORT BY PHILLIP CHIDAVAENZI

In a statement, the lawyers’ body said although the media had been awash with news on party rallies and elections, they were paying lip service to women’s issues, particularly how they were affected by violence.

“Sadly though, women who are political candidates have been missing from the media, with a lot of attention being focused on men. The media continues to be gender blind, polarised . . .” reads the statement in part.

“It is worrying to note that these women (who are victims of domestic violence) resort to killing after a history of suffering violence without taking the necessary legal remedies available at law.

“We urge all, especially women, to use the law to protect themselves from violence. Any form of violence against women is prohibited at law,” ZWLA stated.

The association also welcomed the establishment of a Women’s Situation Room, which will see women from across the country and from different political affiliations accessing help in case they experience political violence.

“This initiative will increase the participation of women in electoral and political processes, as they are assured of peace and security, and a response mechanism,” ZWLA stated.

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