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Women Call For Patriarchal Reforms In Politics

Women and gender advocates have called for patriarchal reforms in response to the escalating violence and exclusion faced by women in political processes.

During a Political roundtable on violence against women in politics workshop organized by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), Virginia Muwanigwa, CEO of the Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC), emphasized that the inadequate representation of women in politics constitutes a violation of the constitution. She stressed that every woman is entitled to equal dignity and the same opportunities as men to participate in the political sphere.

“We must recognize that patriarchal values continue to hinder women’s involvement in political processes, which ultimately harms society. As the ZGC, we urge society to prioritize policies that enhance gender equality and social justice for women, particularly during election periods,” Muwanigwa stated.

Muwanigwa further highlighted that many women in leadership positions face objectification, abuse, and other forms of violence. Their contributions are often disregarded solely because of their gender.

Despite commitments to promoting gender equality, Zimbabwe’s political landscape continues to exhibit a significant imbalance in the representation of women in political leadership and decision-making roles, according to Muwanigwa. This glaring gender disparity violates sections 17, 56, and 80 of the constitution, which affirm the right to equal participation and representation in all sectors.

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Linda Tsungirirai Masarira, President of the opposition Labor Economist and African Democrats (LEAD), also addressed the workshop, urging the media to play a vital role in bridging the gender gap in positions of authority.

“The media should adopt a policy of thoroughly understanding the gender dynamics, particularly in terms of equitable representation of both sexes as news sources,” Masarira emphasized.

She further recommended that the media prioritize women’s concerns and produce gender-neutral reports to foster equality between women and men, as well as advocate for a peaceful and inclusive political environment.

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