Push for gender parity at parastatal boards

BY RUTENDO MATANHIKE

The Women’s Affairs ministry is in the process of drafting a paper to be presented to Cabinet, which disqualifies any board of parastatals and State enterprises that does not reflect gender equality.

Giving oral evidence before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Women, the ministry’s permanent secretary Rudo Chitiga said there was need to implement the policy requiring gender balance in the appointment to parastatal boards.

“We, as a ministry, are in the process of preparing a paper so that there be a Cabinet decision that says from now on, no board should be approved which does not reflect gender
equality. We see the appointment of the five judges as a gender push back on gender equality,” she said.

Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC) chairperson Margaret Mukahanana-Sangarwe said upon the appointment of last year’s Cabinet, the commission sent advisory notes to all the 20 ministers on
the need to embrace gender balance as the Constitution demanded.

“Regrettably, despite these diplomatic engagements, no measures have been taken by ministries to use emerging opportunities to ensure the gender gaps are closed as far as representation on boards of State enterprises and parastatals is concerned,” she said.

Hwange Central MP Daniel Molokele (MDC Alliance) urged the ZGC and the Women’s Affairs ministry to approach the courts over the gender disparities.

He also said there was need for the commission to establish indices to guide the different ministries and parastatals on the targets required for gender parity and equality.

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