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Sweden Partners Local NGOs to Increase Women Participation in Elections

The Swedish Embassy in partnership with the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ), Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU) and Gender and Media Connect (GMC) on Monday launched a program aimed at increasing women participation in governance ans electoral processes.

The program launched on Monday will run under the name ‘Strengthening Women’s Advocacy for Inclusive Governance (SWAG).

Speaking at the ceremony, Swedish Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Sofia Calltorp acknowledged that Sweden has a long history of supporting feminist organizations and is the first country in the world to pursue a feminist foreign policy.

“I am excited today that SWAG will give women in Zimbabwe an opportunity to further their abilities to participate in public spaces to be visible and to have spaces that meet at local level to discuss matters that are important to them,

“We have contributed USD$420 000 towards the WCOZ project which is about strengthening women in the political sphere,

“We are not only doing this kind of initiative in Zimbabwe but other countries we work with for development of equality and distribution of resources,” she said.

The intervention has a strong focus on mobilizing women within provinces and ensuring that related governance structures incorporate women’s needs as voters and candidates.

In Zimbabwe women constitute 52% of the population and according to the Research and Advocacy Unit more women vote but this does not correspond with the numbers of women in elected leadership positions.

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