The current flawed electoral system in the country has made it difficult for the participation of female candidates in elections, firebrand Zanu PF Goromonzi West legislator Biata Nyamupinga said.
Speaking on Star FM radio program sponsored by the Election Resource Centre (ERC) to mark the 16 days of Activism Against Gender based violence, Nyamupinga said there is need to create a conducive environment for women.
“Our mode of election is not conducive for women, for example elections are associated with a lot of violence, and also economical violence because if you don’t have money you can’t win anything,” Nyamupinga said.
She added: “Going forward I would propose for electoral system amendment and include the zebra system for equal and proportional representation…there is need to have one that is conducive for women to participate.”
The outspoken MP, who is also the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee Chairperson on Gender, said the plight of women is exacerbated by their economic status making it easy for men to use their financial muscle to elbow out women during elections.
“We have commercialized elections in this country that’s why you find that women in the relevant constituencies they don’t support other women not that they don’t like other women but because they are given money. Men because they are financially resourced they will get all the seats,” she lamented.
Nyamupinga, however, said there is need for women organisations to do resource mobilization so that we support women candidates.
Sally Dura, a feminist and human rights activist, who has inspired a lot of young women in Zimbabwe and currently the national coordinator for the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe said women participation in general is low.
“The participation of women is very disappointing in terms of statistics it is at low level were women are continuously mobilized in voting for men in most cases,” Dura said adding that, “we also have a violent political culture, there is also the noncompliance to the constitution by political parties by the manner in which they do appointments and candidate selection criteria in terms of gender balance.”
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is a global campaign dedicated to ending gender-based violence. It seeks to raise awareness at the local, national and international levels regarding violence against women.
The ERC has since petitioned Parliament calling for the alignment of the Electoral Act and the constitution a processes which will lead to the holding of free, fair and credible elections.
Through its various such as the Communities in Action the ERC is encouraging the participation of citizens particularly women and youths.