ZGC bemoans decrease in women political participation

According to available statistics, the country recorded a decline from 14,8% in 2018 to 11% for this years’ elections.

THE Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC) has bemoaned the decrease in the participation of women in this year’s polls compared to 2018 amid fears the drop could jeopardise plans to address gender parity.

According to available statistics, the country recorded a decline from 14,8% in 2018 to 11% for this years’ elections.

“Gender equality has to be holistic as much as possible therefore there is a deliberate need to increase women participation at all levels,” (ZGC) communications expert Audrey Charamba said during a presentation of the 2023 Pre-Election Long-Term Feminist Analysis Report on Wednesday.

“We need to do everything necessary to promote women’s participation as a way of addressing gender parity.”

Charamba added: “We note that the young and aspiring women have been shortchanged in terms of socio-economic, political and technological conditions that the contextual aspect continues to be fairly discriminatory.”

There is only one female candidate contesting the presidential election, Elisabeth Valerio, compared to four in 2018.

Another female presidential candidate, Linda Masarira, lost a High Court challenge to have her name included on the ballot paper.

Institute for Young Women’s Development programmes co-ordinator Sandra Zenda said there was need to promote women participation in electoral processes.

“The government of Zimbabwe must ensure that constitutional provisions on gender equality and non-discrimination are upheld and respected in line with the Constitution,” Zenda said.

“Specifically, the government should align gender and electoral laws to the country’s Constitution to include the enactment of a Gender Equality and Inclusion Act.”

She said there was a need to take necessary measures to address systemic violence in politics against women.

Zenda said government and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission in consultation with citizens and stakeholders should effect a downward revision of the gazetted nomination and access to the voters roll and electoral map fees.

“(They) should ensure that any set amounts are affordable; promote the participation and representation of youths, women, persons with disabilities and others without prejudicing them on financial grounds,” she said

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