BY RICHARD MUPONDE
MPs in the National Assembly have called for an end to discrimination of women, and gender-based violence (GBV) in the country to enable their rise in political and economic sectors.
The issue was raised by Chido Madiwa (Mutasa North MP) who is the chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Women Affairs in a motion that she introduced last week on the report of the Zimbabwean delegation to the 75th Session of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, which was held in Switzerland in February this year.
The motion was then seconded by Chegutu East legislator Webster Shamu, who also said all discrimination against women of all forms must end.
“When we talk about the need to stop discrimination of women in all its forms, we must not do so as if we are carrying out an act of charity,” he said.
“It is not as a result of humanitarian or a compassionate position. The end to the discrimination of women in all forms is a fundamental necessity for our revolution to succeed. It is a fundamental necessity for the development of Zimbabwe.”
Shamu suggested that a monitoring instrument must be set up to ensure that everything agreed on pertaining to the end of discrimination against women was implemented.
“Mr Speaker Sir, we have the Anti-Corruption Commission. It has a particular task to carry out investigations with other commissions and various arms of government that ensure that certain things are done,” he said.
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“Therefore, for us to continue to treat the issue of discrimination of women as a talk show is not right. We must walk the talk. Let us establish a permanent committee that ensures that what we are saying today is a permanent thing and is actually done. The committee must then monitor all activities that are negatively impacting on the women so that they are able to fulfil the very objectives of our revolution.”
MDC-T legislator Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga (proportional representation) said there should be a political will to address the situation of women in the country.
“I want to start with stating the issue of political will, because I think when we talk about discrimination, sometimes it looks like it is difficult to address it. We were struggling in Parliament here because chairpersons of Parliamentary Portfolio Committees, where largely males and very few were women,” she said.
“It took a leadership that is sensitive to come and change that picture, not only do we have more women as chairpersons but we also have young chairpersons. We want to acknowledge that it is actually very easy to change certain things. We think it is about laws, but sometimes it is just political will.”