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Criminalise violence against women in politics: Senate

Local News
Chinomona said there was a need to enact and enforce legislation that criminalised and penalised violence against women in politics.

SENATE President Mabel Chinomona has condemned violence against female legislators saying it erodes trust and confidence that citizens place in their elected representatives.

Chinomona said there was a need to enact and enforce legislation that criminalised and penalised violence against women in politics.

“This legislation should include clear definitions, stringent penalties, and avenues for redress, ensuring a robust and unambiguous deterrent against such malpractices,” Chinomona said.

She said this during the ongoing Inter-Parliamentary Union webinar for African Parliaments on preventing and responding to violence against women in Parliament.

“When women, who constitute half of our populations, are subjected to violence within the halls of our Parliaments, it not only perpetuates a grave injustice against them but also tarnishes the democratic ideals we hold dear,” Chinomona said.

 “It is an undeniable truth that within the chambers of democracy, a shadow persists, a shadow cast by the grim reality that women in Parliaments across the globe endure violence, discrimination, and harassment.”

She said promoting women politicians was key to eradicating violence against women in Parliaments.

“Undeniably, our democratic institutions are meant to be bastions of justice, equality and respect for human rights. They symbolise the aspirations of societies that value the dignity and worth of every individual.”

Chinomona said violence against women was an assault on the democratic values they champion.

“It stifles the voices of women, preventing them from contributing fully to the legislative process and stifling the rich diversity of perspectives that should characterise robust and inclusive governance.

“Moreover, it is sad to note that the prevalence of violence against women in political spheres, with motives to silence and exclude them from decision-making, directly contradicts the principles of gender equality, freedom of expression, and full female participation in the overall decision-making spaces.”

While women constitute the majority of the country’s population, their participation in politics has been declining over the years with only 11% participating in the August election.

United Zimbabwe Alliance leader, Elisabeth Valerio, was the only female presidential aspirant compared to four in 2018.

According to an election situational report carried out by one of the country’s leading women groups, there were documented cases where women voters were victims of intimidation by political parties.

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