Low women participation in polls worrisome: Gender Commission

THE Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC) has expressed concern over the low representation of women in next month’s general elections.

BY KUDZAI MUCHENJEKWA

Speaking at the launch of the gender observatory on Tuesday, ZGC chairperson, Margaret Sangarwe-Mukahanana said violence and intimidation were a major contributing factor to failure by women to participate in elections.

“This also exacerbates the disparity between men and women in politics and decision-making positions and flies in the face of gender equality and peaceful, free, fair and credible elections,” Sangarwe-Mukahanana said.

She said the gender observatory is an accountability mechanism for gathering evidence and documenting women’s experiences throughout the electoral cycle. The gender observatory was also a prevention and monitoring mechanism for electoral violence against women throughout the electoral process

“The gender observatory is a long-term mechanism whose existence will extend beyond the elections and whose long-term mandate is to gather information from women-led grassroots organisations to support effective reporting of cases on election-related issues,” she said

“It is also there to produce and disseminate knowledge on women’s experience throughout the electoral cycle and also promote the implementation of the advocacy strategy on women’s political participation,” the gender activist added.

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