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Women Continue to Be Sidelined in Society: Mudenda

Women continue to be sidelined in all walks of life and its time women rise up to the occasion, Speaker of the National Assembly Honorable Advocate Jacob Mudenda has said.

Addressing various women’s organizations at the 50/50 Advocacy Campaign and Women’s Manifesto launch, Mudenda applauded the great work women organizations have been doing but also acknowledged that there are still challenges with achieving 50/50 advocacy.

“Achieving gender parity is not without challenges and these challenges have long been in history.

“Women continue to be misrepresented in politics, in June 2016, 22.8% of parliamentarians were women, in January 2017, 18.3% were government ministers and in June there were 17 (women) Heads of State and 12 Heads of Government,

“Participation of women remains a concern and women should rise up to the occasion, they should rise up in their political parties and take their place accordingly,” said Mudenda.

Mudenda added that Rwanda currently has the highest number of female parliamentarians worldwide with 63% urging Zimbabwean women to rise up and beat that target.

He further explained that various gender gaps in Zimbabwe have to be closed to incorporate women in activities that society has deemed to be for men.

“Gender gaps in Zimbabwe have to be closed especially the agricultural sector. Only a few women own land.

“Women also don’t have access to loans, only a lower proportion of them have access to it

“In addition, the women’s election chapter needs to be robust in content, have a sense of hope and define logistics on how to achieve gender parity,” explained Mudenda.

Meanwhile, Chairperson of the Gender and Youth Committee in Parliament, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga condemned violence within political parties calling for an end to the marginalization of women.

“Political parties are like marriages, they look nice from outside and yet most of the abuses against women are within political parties,

“We need to deal with that culture; we can’t continue to allow political parties to be the ones that perpetrate gender based violence,

“Of recent we have seen the attack on Honorable Thokozani Khupe and I think a number of women’s organizations have spoken about it but it needs to be seen in the broader context that it is a big problem particularly now that we are going for the primary elections; we are going to see many more of these happening against women,

“Something needs to be done about this because we are now at a time where people are beginning to believe it is normal to abuse women in politics, to use derogatory language when you speak about women in politics,” she said.

The Women’s Manifesto seeks to spell out the situation of women and builds on the earlier progress made by the Zimbabwe Women Parliamentary Caucus (ZWPC) and its partners in achieving 50/50 women representation.

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