By Takudzwa Mahove
Women’s organizations say the government needs to put up proper mechanisms that are adhered to by local authorities and other institutions for women’s participation in politics.
Speaking to Amakhosikazi Media, Hands of Hope Trust Founder and Director Millicent Nhutsve highlighted that lack of legislative frameworks that ensure the inclusion of women has derailed national development.
“Lack of inclusion of women in decision-making process hinders development even at the policy-making level in our country,” said Nhutsve
“There is a need for the government to put up proper mechanisms that are adhered to by the local authorities and commission to ensure women’s voices are heard” she added
Turning to electoral politics Nhutsve said women encounter several challenges that hinder participation.
She said, “Women encounter several challenges that hinder their participation in politics, being a woman in itself is a challenge as women have a lot to do in the home taking of family.”
“Financial challenges are also a huge factor as women may not have the money to do all that is needed to participate” she added
She also highlighted that “the patriarchal culture that still exists in some communities is a challenge to participation in politics.”
She also indicated that there are gaps that need to be plugged in if women are to fully participate and make their mark.
She also highlighted that “women with disabilities are at a disadvantage and the necessary support is not being readily provided to ensure they are in a position to make the mark and voice their views.”
The Hands of Hope Trust founder told Amakhosikazi Media that they are gaps the need to be bridged to ensure women can participate and development can be beneficial to all.
She said for female candidates “may not have the financial capacity to carry out campaigns and other necessary activities to compete, this is compounded by the fact that some of the parties do not provide the necessary support.”
She highlighted that “for the female electoral workers the burden of unpaid care work means they may not always be in a position to show up when expected because they have work at home or they have become pregnant or at times they have pressing matters in the family and extended family.”
Shurugwi South Legislator Honourable Edmund Mkaratigwa said at an early age girls should be allowed to thrive and be qualified to compete for top positions.
He suggested that “women should be in a position to present themselves for election in positions; they should get the opportunity to get the necessary education and be qualified to vie for the position in politics or on key commissions.”
A former junior councillor Miss Mary Nyathi said it is important for issues around leadership to be taught in school to help more women to work toward holding those top positions.
“Just like we have agriculture, Fashion and Fabrics etc, we should have subjects that enlighten us on the importance of political participation and how one can become a part of these key decision making bodies.”
According to an African portal report out of the 47 political parties that fielded candidates in the 2018 National Assembly elections, only 27 fielded at least one woman candidate. Approximately 15% (243) of 1 652 candidates that contested in the National Assembly were female.