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Low Women Participation Blamed On Toxic Political Culture

The Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC) has bemoaned the toxic political culture which continues to treat women as inferior and unfit to hold high positions in Zimbabwean political movements.

By Adelaide Kuudzerema

Speaking at the women’s political academy workshop in Kadoma on Wednesday, ZGC Chief Executive Officer Virginia Muwanigwa said women face obstacles in getting space in the political sphere due to the toxic political culture which sees women as charity cases.

“Women have been facing the political culture issues of being seen as inferior and people who need lenience so that they can rise which has led to sexual abuse cyber bullying and violent acts against women,” said Muwanigwa.

She blamed poverty and lack of resources for the toxic political culture with the few brave women labelled names.

“Women politicians are forced to reveal their private life unlike men and some of them have been tarnished publicly and reduced from leadership,” she added.

Muwanigwa further noted despite the constitutional or legislative framework being favorable or guaranteeing gender balance in political spaces, cultural and social issues militate against women’s participation in politics.

“In political parties where participants should be encouraged, you will still see fewer women at the top, additionally, these spaces are violent in nature, prompting many women to stay away,” Muwanigwa said.

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She advocated for young women to have role models outside political spaces as a solution to equal representation and correct political culture.

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