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We should all prop women into leadership

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THE Women Election Convention launched on Saturday is a noble idea, which should help propel more women into leadership and political positions.

Comment: NewsDay Editor

More often, women have to rely on quota systems to make it into political systems, which, while noble are not a sustainable empowerment method.

Women should be seen as able leaders in their own right, who should be voted into office because of their capabilities and not because of their gender.

This country has had millions of very capable leaders, but because of the patriarchal nature of society, they were reduced to cheerleaders, who were deployed at the fancy of male political leaders.

This is tragic because it has deprived the country of capable leadership and, therefore, development.

It is not a coincidence that one of the foremost people in the First Chimurenga was a woman, Mbuya Nehanda, meaning women have shown leadership in the past and deserve to be voted into positions of power.

Women like Queen Lozikeyi of the Ndebele Kingdom are also revered for the direction that they gave to the state and it boggles the mind why in this day there are some that think women are second-rate and do not deserve to be in positions of power.

While it is impossible to wipe out patriarchy and male chauvinism overnight, the Women Election Convention is one place to start in promoting women involvement and participation in setting the national agenda.

Such initiatives should be apolitical and encourage people — men and women alike – to promote female participation in the national discourse and ensure that they are not side-lined.

For women as well, who are incidentally the majority of the population, there is need for themselves to support each other, believe in each other and, above all, vote for each other.

Nobody knows what is good for women more than women themselves and they can only emancipate themselves if they support each other.

Once voted into power, women politicians ought to do their utmost best to empower other women and go beyond the piecemeal initiatives such as donating chicks and instead go beyond the home and show leadership both in politics and industry.

This ideally would permeate to young girls, who will grow up knowing they are equal with boys and they can be anything they want to be.

There is need for such initiatives to go beyond the home and encompass every facet of life, so young girls grow up confident and are not just reduced to the kitchen and the home.

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