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Lessons from March by-elections

by Walpe
27 Apr 2022 at 12:54hrs | Views
WITH the support from Diakonia, the Women's Academy for Leadership and Political Excellence (Walpe) from April 08 and 12 2022 conducted capacity-building training in transformative feminist leadership for 120 young women and women with disabilities in Masvingo rural.

Some of the topics covered during the training included political career development, introduction to public service and volunteerism, negotiation and consensus building, voter mobilisation, among others.

The aspiring women leaders also tasked each other to mobilise first-time voters and encourage them to register to vote and vote for women in the 2023 elections.

With regards to the recently held by-elections, the following was observed:

lLimited coverage of female candidates both in the public and private media.

lCases of violence against women was rampant. Both covert and overt forms of violence were recorded in periods preceding the election.

lNames of voters was being written down by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) officials at polling stations. When Zec was asked about it, it indicated that the information was for tracing COVID19.

lIt was raining in some of the areas observed by the Walpe teams which might have affected voter turnout.

l Some of political parties which contested in the by elections did not have polling agents in some areas.

It is key for political parties to take seriously the voting process and make sure they deploy enough manpower for accountability and transparency's sake.

lThere is a general misconception among Zimbabweans, the media included, that it is the responsibility of women's rights organisations to ensure more women contest and win elections.

To the contrary, the primary responsibility of guaranteeing equality lies with political parties whose internal elective processes discourages women from contesting for leadership.

Citizens also have a responsibility to change their mindset and attitude towards female leaders and register to vote and vote for female candidates. They are also responsible for ending all forms of violence against women in politics.

Walpe will continue with the 2,2 million votes for women from women campaign by registering more female first-time voters across the country.

Source - NewsDay Zimbabwe
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