Gender Disparity in Zimbabwe Parliament Upsets Women

via Gender Disparity in Zimbabwe Parliament Upsets Women

The eighth parliament of Zimbabwe was expected to set a record in the region and the world over by achieving a 50-50 representation in the July harmonised elections.

Many in the women’s movement were angered by political parties in the country failing to field more women candidates, especially when the constitution advocates for such representation in all political offices in the country.

Zanu PF and the two Movement for Democratic Change formations fielded a combined 90 women compared to 663 males who participated in the elections, a far cry from equal representation.

But more women were able to win parliamentary seats, thanks to the proportional representation system. To map the way forward the new women lawmakers met in the capital this week to strategise on how they can make an impact in the next five years.

Meeting under the banner of the Women in Politics Support Unit (WIPSU), the women parliamentarians agreed there was an urgent need to start restrategising for the 2018 elections as they failed dismally this year to increase the number of women in the august house in line with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) protocol on gender and development.

They want the government and political parties to support women’s participation in politics. Their argument is that women can contribute more to development of the country, a senior official with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has said.

WIPSU programmes manager Patricia Muwandi says her organisation brought the women lawmakers together at the meeting at the Harare International Conference Centre to create a platform for them to reflect on the July 31 elections, share experiences and strategise for the future.

Muwandi said women are disappointed with the low number of women who participated in the just-ended elections, adding not much was done by all the major political parties in the country to implement the 50-50 representation policy, serve for verbal promises.

WIPSU, which over the years has been supporting women politicians in the country, is disappointed by political parties fielding fewer women in the July elections preferring to allow female candidates to go into parliament through the proportional representation system where 60 seats were set aside for women.

Outgoing Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development Minister, Olivia Muchena, said the women who made it into parliament were nevertheless celebrating their success, irrespective of political affiliation.

WIPSU works with women from across the political divide under the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus, leading discussions on issues affecting women’s participation in politics, including helping them raise their debating skills and related issues.

The organisation is now working on developing what it says is a women’s agenda to be used by all women parliamentarians to push policies that will encourage female participation in politics and also to ensure that whatever they agree on in the women’s caucus carries the day in the house.



  • comment-avatar
    Tjingababili 11 years ago

    They want to be put!

  • comment-avatar
    Patriot 11 years ago

    From a strict statistical point of view the semi-literates and the illiterates portion of our society constitute the overwhelming majority %age( at least 70%) of our national population. Is it someone’s strong & genuine wish to see our House of Assembly similarly constituted?.i.e. For the House to deliver competitively on modern economic challenges facing the nation. The uneducated have accumulated grounds of mistrust of the educated legislator ‘s unbiased articulation of majorit y interests. The genda agenda demands, for females automatic promotion spared of male fair competition is retrogressive politi cal grand standing, unprecedented panacea for third world economic problems. Let the legitimate, if constructive, genda competition be for more challenging jobs that grant the individual very little or no freedom to err such as in engin eering and in the rest of the natur al sciences or even police patrols. Females are not the only sector of society inadequately represented in the House.

  • comment-avatar
    Anold Anderson 11 years ago

    We just don’t want people to be selected because of genter we want people who are competent than just bringing the blind to lead the blind. Its time we need to see change not crying to breaking for the wrong reasons.

  • comment-avatar
    Anold Anderson 11 years ago

    We just don’t want people to be selected because of genter we want people who are competent than just bringing the blind to lead the blind. Its time we need to see change not crying to breaking record for the wrong reasons.