16 Days of Activism | Empowering women in politics

16 Days of activism against gender-based violence is not just about the scourge but also empowering women. A Southern African women’s organisation in Zimbabwe is encouraging females to play active roles in politics and leadership. #eNCA correspondent Pindai Dube reports.

HARARE - 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence is not just about the scourge, but also empowering women.

As the world commemorates this period, a southern African women’s organisation in Zimbabwe is partnering up to encourage females to play active roles in politics and leadership.

At the same time, women in the region are calling for protection in politics.

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The project Women in Political Participation comes at a time when Zimbabwe is heading for by-elections in March next year to fill 133 vacant local government and parliamentary seats.   

The Women and Law in Southern Africa Research and Education Trust says the initiative is to drive women into the political arena.  

Wilsa executive director Fadzai Traquino said: "The essence of this program is really to support women participation in Africa, the issues being that we have been noticing a trend that there are some countries that are progressive in terms of gender parity and have reached at least 30 percent women representation and politics and decision making. Here we are talking about leadership positions. But there are countries that are still lagging behind."

Traquino adds that Zimbabwe is still one of the countries lagging behind in terms of female participation in politics.

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"One of the things that we immediately identified was that in countries that uses proportional representation electoral framework they tend to be higher numbers. Then countries like are our very own Zimbabwe and others that use a winner take all system or model of election. Those countries have lower numbers of women in leadership and in politics," she said.

Zimbabwe’s Electoral Commission also confirms that the country's women lack knowledge about elections.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission's Antony Chikutsa said: "We have done several research which point to the fact that women lack knowledge on who runs and what there are supposed to do and when they want to contest where can they register. It’s basically a lot of things that they lack information."

Zimbabwe is also heading for national elections in 2023 and preparations are already underway.


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