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Women's number reduced through dismissals in parliament

by Stephen Jakes
13 Aug 2017 at 07:40hrs | Views
MDC official Discent Collins Bajila has said the number of women in parliament and top government offices has reduced following an array of dismissals of women from position on political grounds.

He said In 2013 only 25 women won directly elected National Assembly seats. Adding to the 60 proportional representation seats, this brings the number to 85/270 seats or 31.5%.

"Between 2013 and now, this figure has obviously dropped given the fact that Lucia Matibenga, Joyce Mujuru, Roselyn Siphepha Nkomo and other women who lost their seats were replaced by men. Auxillia Mnangagwa is probably the only woman to have replaced a man in the numerous by elections held since 2013," he said.

"Even in the Senate where the zebra system is used, the final product was 39 women, 41 men. Somehow it failed to give a 40:40 mark. Clearly this means that affirmative action alone is insufficient in the efforts to achieve gender equality in Zimbabwe."

He said given that 2018 is the last election to be held during the life of the 60 seats for women clause in the constitution it will be very important for us to take stock of the work of women in Parliament with the view of advising on how incumbents can help elevate the status of fellow women.

"The worst thing women can do for the women's emancipation cause is to turn the women's movement in its various forms and formations into "Men-are-crap " platforms. That would demobilize supportive men as well as reverent wives and daughters. The emphasis in my view should be about mobilising a critical mass across the gender divide that shall say " it is unjust for a society to exclude 52% of itself from running the life of that society, " he said.

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