Women’s rights groups have castigated piecemeal approach to equal parliamentary and local authority representation.
This follows remarks by the Minister of Local government and Public Works, July Moyo who told a Women in Local Authorities symposium of the government plans to create an additional 30 percent quota in all local authorities outside of the already existing 1958 wards.
In their petition to government, Women’s Reform Network (WRN), a coalition of 25 women’s rights organisations and women-led Community Based Organisations said they were alarmed by the administrative lethargy in government and piecemeal approach to 50/50 gender equality.
“Parliament must insist on a comprehensive review of the legal framework as it relates to attaining 50/50 gender equality in elected and appointed representation.
“As the Women’s Reform Network, we appreciate the need for interventions to increase women’s representation in elected and appointed leadership at all levels. However, we believe that any intervention must firstly be informed by the Constitutional provisions of Sections 17, 56 and 80 which expressly envisages and demand a legal framework which implements 50/50 gender equality at all levels in Zimbabwe,” WRN said.
In addition, WRN said any quotas must be allocated within the existing number of seats not the current situation where additional positions are created to accommodate more women.
“Women empowerment in leadership must never create a burden on the taxpayers whose net effect would affect the adequacy and accessibility of quality gender responsive service delivery which would in turn adversely impact the very same women who must be empowered, ” the coalition said.