Women and gender advocates have called for patriarchal reforms amid an increase in the exclusion of women in political processes.
By Adelaide Kuudzerema
Speaking at a women’s political engagement workshop in Kadoma on Wednesday, Women and Law in Southern Africa (WLSA) director Fadzai Traquino blamed patriarchal values of holding back women who continue to suffer exclusion from political processes.
“Women are excluded from political processes to the detriment of society and we are urging the society to prioritise policies that improves gender equality and social justice for women, Females are seen as people who belong in a private sphere for example in the home taking care of children and household chores,” said Traquino
She added “Most women in leadership are objected or seen as sex objects, their contributions are not viewed in any manner other than man,”
Traquino said though the Constitution of Zimbabwe states that every women has full and equal dignity as men, this includes opportunities in political and economic activities, and women have not yet obtain the equal space in the political realm.
Recently, ZGC chairperson Commissioner Margaret Mukahanana bemoaned the low women representation in politics saying its a violation of the Constitution.
“Despite commitments at various levels on promoting gender equality, the political landscape in Zimbabwe continues to be characterized by low representation of women in political leadership and other levels of decision making. Notwithstanding the fact that women constitute 52% of the demographic population of Zimbabwe and in addition being the majority of voters, women, constitute a mere 13.3% of Local Government Councilors, 31.5% of the National Assembly and 48% of the senate (as per 2018 general elections).
“Such glaring gender disparities in the political sphere is a cause for concern for the Commission and it is in violation of sections 17, 56 and 80 of the Constitution which affirms equal participation, representation and participation in all sectors,” said Commissioner Mukahanana.
Women make up less than 50% of parliamentarians despite the Constitution requiring gender parity and since independence the country has not had a female President with only Joice Mujuru assuming the deputy president position from 2004 only to be removed in 2014. Zimbabwe women remain underrepresented in party politics and cabinet.