Disqualify parties that fail to meet gender parity

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BY Stephen Chadenga

WOMEN Coalition of Zimbabwe Gweru chapter outgoing vice-chairperson Florence Guzha says women should advocate for a statutory instrument that disqualifies political parties that fail to meet the 50-50 gender parity in the selection of candidates in the 2023 general elections.

Speaking at the chapter’s meeting in Gweru recently, Guzha said such a lobby would increase women participation in decision-making positions to advance their interests.

“As women, we should advocate for a law that makes it mandatory for political parties to meet the 50-50 gender parity in the selection of candidates,” Guzha said.

“Should parties fail to meet such a requirement in the 2023 elections, they should not be allowed to participate in the plebiscite.”

The chapter’s co-ordinator Vimbai Nhutsve-Musengi said civil society organisations should come up with strategies that ensure effective inclusion of women in governance.

She said the continued failure, especially by political parties to meet equal gender representation in candidate selection was affecting the increased participation of women in decision making positions.

In 2018 a report by Women in Politics Support Unit, showed that out of the 210 National Assembly seats, 84 were contested by men only.

The same report also noted that in the same poll, a total of 1 405 males competed for National Assembly seats compared to 243 females.