Zimbabwe needs a national gender audit; Women advocates

By Joleen Marara

WOMEN advocates and activists working in leadership development have said they want to push an agenda for elections to not just be an event but a process that women are part and parcel of,  so that they can also contribute to the development of the country.

Speaking before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development at a gathering in Bulawayo recently, WILD board member Mrs Prisca Dube said, in terms of the electoral reforms, there is a need to take stock of what has been done, what is being done and what still needs to be done in this country for one to  say the country has achieved gender equality.

“For gender equality to be achieved, women’s issues should not be looked at as trivial matters but as matters that are as important as those of their male counterparts,” said Dube.

Women have in the past called for 50/50 representation in the country’s major decision making bodies such as the Parliament, and this move is believed to bridge an existing gender equality gap.

Speaking to Amakhosikazi Media, Mhlengiwethu Mhlanga said she is against child marriages because men have developed an oppressive mentality towards women. 

“I’m against the mentality that women should be subjective and submissive to men because while women want to emancipate themselves, men don’t want to appreciate it,” added Mhlengiwethu.

“It’s good that child marriages have been abolished because that means children get to grow up and enjoy their childhood,” said Lubalethu Ndlovu.

She said this after having mentioned that the bill was a good idea by the government to protect the girl child and hence equality is still a battle that women are yet to win someday once men open up a vacancy for women.

Meanwhile, Lubalethu said the constitution should be revised in order for it to correspond with the new bill.

“The constitution has to be amended to be in line with the new bill and enforce 18 as an age of consent rather than 16,” she added.