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'Women should take up powerful political posts'

by Staff reporter
08 Nov 2021 at 05:27hrs | Views
WOMEN should take up powerful political positions in the country as most policies that affect them were being crafted by men.

This was said by Senate president Mabel Chinomona last Friday at a breakfast meeting in Harare, which was organised by the Women in Politics Support Unit (Wipsu) to discuss women and leadership in politics.

In Zimbabwe, the number of women parliamentarians increased from 16% in 2013 to 34% in 2018 after the Constitution provided for a quota system that sets aside 60 seats for women proportional representation in Parliament.

Competition through the constituency-based system has not been friendly to women as their male counterparts have the financial clout to support their electoral campaigns, while electoral campaigns have been violent.

Chinomona said as long as women were fewer in Parliament, policies that affected them, such as maternal health strategies and others, would be crafted by men who constitute the majority of lawmakers.

"No woman has the luxury of being apolitical. How can anyone be uninterested in politics when it is the politician who decides every aspect of your life and that of your children? Men decide the distance between a pregnant mother and the nearest clinic," Chinomona said.

"The men decide whether you have access to clean water, electricity, whether your garbage will be collected and whether there will be a road leading to your house.

"The politicians' policies decide how much you will pay for food, and how many times your children will eat and what they will eat. Every important aspect of your life is decided by the politicians. Is it not high time you became a politician yourself."

Chinomona said young girls throughout the country, including the rural areas, relied on female policymakers to clearly articulate solutions to issues that affect them such as early child marriages, gender-based violence, access to education and health, access to sexual and reproductive health rights, and food and agricultural policies, as well as women empowerment issues to improve their livelihoods.

Speaking at the same event, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said women should be brave enough to compete for positions of power and to access powerful posts in all sectors.

"We need to take up these powerful political positions and develop our country. Women have the expertise to come up with good policies, and they are very capable," Mutsvangwa said.

Wipsu director Sakhile Sifelani-Ngoma decried the fact that the country currently has 16 females in ministerial posts out of around 42 positions.

Women in the country have been clamouring for 50/50 representation in Parliament and other sectors of the economy to ensure gender equality and equity.

Sifelani-Ngoma said political participation of women was firstly a human right, and secondly, a right enshrined in sections 3(g), 17, 56(2) and 80(1) of the Constitution, which stipulate that there should be gender equality in political, economic, cultural and social spheres.

She said if women who constitute 52% of the population in the country were represented at the decision-making table, their interests and concerns would be taken seriously.

Source - NewsDay Zimbabwe