ZIMBABWE Electoral Commission (Zec) chairperson Justice Rita Makarau on Wednesday said only 90 women contested for Parliamentary seats compared to 603 men during the 2013 harmonised elections.
REPORT BY VENERANDA LANGA
Makarau told delegates at a workshop in Harare aimed enhancing women’s participation in elections that women should begin now to focus on the 2018 elections instead of debating on missed opportunities to increase their participation in politics and other important positions.
The workshop was sponsored by Self Help Development Foundation (SHDF) and the Women in Politics Support Unit (WiPSU).
“Statistics show that since 2008 less than a third of candidates for Parliamentary elections were women,” said Justice Makarau. “During the 2013 National Assembly elections, 90 women candidates contested as compared to 603 men, while the 2008 House of Assembly elections recorded 105 female contestants compared to 575 men, and the Senate 2008 elections recorded 58 female contestants as compared to 122 men.”
According to statistics released by Justice Makarau for the National Assembly, Zanu PF fielded 25 females compared to 185 males, MDC-T 19 women to 194 men while the MDC fielded 41 women compared to 160 men.
There were also five female independent candidates compared to 64 male independent candidates.
Justice Makarau said the legislated additional party list for women (60 seats) may have had adverse effects on the participation of women.