FEMALE lawmakers are pushing for the tabling of a Sexual Harassment Bill to protect women in politics against persecution by their male counterparts.
The calls were made during a recent sensitisation workshop for women leaders by the Women’s Academy for Leadership and Political Excellence.
The women leaders had the opportunity to air out the challenges they encounter while discharging their political duties in their various constituencies.
Budiriro North constituency legislator Susan Matsunga said she hoped that such a Bill would be tabled soon.
“We have come up with a motion that we have moved to debate in Parliament as we find that it is not necessary to commemorate these 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence of which the whole year women will be facing challenges with no one to take care of them. GBV is not only in our communities that we lead, it is everywhere even in Parliament,” she said.
Epworth Local Board’s recalled chairperson Anna Sande said there was need for several institutions to be sensitised against harassment of women in politics.
“We really need to sensitise all institutions that work with women; calling for the establishment of a sexual harassment Bill to protect female politicians is a noble cause.
“Female politicians face many challenges than an average male politician faces, hence women ought to be protected from any form of sexual harm,” she said.
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Sande said the policy would enable women to effectively carry out their mandate as policymakers and duty bearers.
Chairperson of the Parliament of Zimbabwe’s Women’s Caucus, Senator Maybe Mbowa, said the Bill would strive to cater for men who are also victims.
“It’s not only women who are harassed sexually. These days men are also harassed so all forms of harassment should be dealt with according to how bad they are. We no longer want sexual harassment; we want a Parliament which is well visioned,” she said.
Sexual harassment in workplaces in Zimbabwe has been described as a pervasive and insidious problem too familiar to many women in Zimbabwe.
A recent study by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency, indicated that as many as 30% of women have experienced sexual harassment at work leading to an outcry by various gender activists to end the scourge.