Women demand 1 000 council seats in 2018

WOMEN have called for a violence-free election, and are demanding 1 000 council seats during the 2018 general elections if Zimbabwe is to achieve gender parity in local authorities.

BY VENERANDA LANGA

Women in Politics Support Unit (WiPSU) board chairperson Vongai Chikwanda yesterday told several female candidates during a workshop on local government elections in Harare that female candidates would next year target seats traditionally occupied by their male counterparts.

“As women, we want an even playing field and call for a violence-free election so that women can campaign freely and also win seats as ward councillors,” she said.

“There are 14 local authorities in the country, and we need to take up those council posts so that women can get seats that have been traditionally occupied by men instead of relying on the proportional representation quota.”

WiPSU executive director Sakhile Sifelani Ngoma said the gender disparities in council elections were so glaring that of the 1 958 councillors in Zimbabwe, only 327 are women.

“There are 1 631 male councillors compared to 372 women and the statistics show that there has been a drop of female councillors from the previous 18% to 16%. We want political parties to begin supporting female candidates so that we can have more women occupying seats as councillors,” she said.

Sifelani Ngoma said Section 56 of the Constitution stipulates gender equality and so during the 2018 elections, political parties must ensure the lists of contestants they hand to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission include a 50:50 gender equality ratio.

“Right now, we are not even at 30% gender equality ratio yet the Sadc gender protocol requires equality. Women have the ability to influence in the running of local authorities and so we need to elect them as councillors,” she said.

Sharon Kaseke, of Chitungwiza Manyame Rural District Council, said current statistics show that 60% of women were employed compared to 40% men, yet women are under-represented in local authorities.

“It can be argued if women are equally represented in local government authorities, their grievances on potable water availability, housing and basic health care can be adequately addressed,” Kaseke said.


Association of Rural District Councils of Zimbabwe secretary-general Lucy Furamera said some of the advantages of having women occupying council seats were that they are caring, honest, pay attention to detail and are
developmental.

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4 Comments

  1. Comment…No please lets respect equal rights were both gender is allowed to compete without reserving something to one gender.

  2. Sekuru Chaminuka

    Comment…No man should be allowed to stand for erections. Let them have all the seats, tongai tione

  3. women now demand more of everything . now they are more in number in terms of employment everywhere yet the breadwinners are no longer employed. their demands are just becoming one too many . soon you will hear them demand that they should not be challenged even if they are wrong eg in south africa your wife can bring a boyfriend at your house if you do anything against her they arest you. this is where its going now. Stop yielding to every demand

  4. Vongai Chikwanda hapana arambidzwa kucontesta but chokwadi chinokuendesa kudenga ini handivhotere mukadzi bvunza grace mugabe kana dlamini zuma or hillary clinton

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