Mupfumira questions Parliament’s seriousness on gender issues

Mupfumira questions Parliament’s seriousness on gender is-sues
Mupfumira questions Parliament’s seriousness on gender is-sues

Mupfumira questions Parliament’s seriousness on gender issues

Parliament of Zimbabwe’s seriousness on gender issues has been put to question following the revelation that it is yet to implement its Institutional Gender Policy that was developed in 2017.

To make matters worse, a workshop that was organized to conscientize the legislators on the policy was poorly attended.

Out of the 350 legislators in the Parliament of Zimbabwe, only 38 attended the workshop.

Adding her voice to the debate on the implementation of the gender policy and Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) gender-sensitive tool kit, Senator Prisca Mupfumira said lack of seriousness on gender issues by Parliament was the reason why young women shun politics in Zimbabwe.

‘’The seriousness of Parliament on issues to do with gender remains questionable. How many of us here would encourage their daughters to join politics considering the prevalence of sexual harassment in politics? If this is not addressed, how can women effectively participate in public life? There is a need to create an enabling environment for women to effectively participate in public life.

‘’A random survey done on why young women do not join politics revealed that 87% of the respondents cited issues to do with sexual harassment. This has however not yet been published.

Sexual harassment in the workplace

‘’In the workplace, sexual harassment is the order of the day.

According to numerous studies, 90-95% of sexually harassed women suffer from debilitating stress reactions including anxiety and depression whilst among men.  It reinforces stereotypes of women employees as sex objects.  Severe or pervasive sexual harassment in certain types of businesses creates a hostile or intimidating environment that causes women to leave their jobs. And look elsewhere for work or discourages them from seeking those jobs in the first place. 

‘’The difference between sexual harassment and sexual abuse Mr President, is that sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual advance, sexual favour, verbal or physical contact or gesture of a sexual nature or any other behaviour of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation to another.

‘’Sexual harassment will occur when it interferes with work. Is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating hostile or defensive environment.  It can include a once-off incident or a series of incidents.  Sexual harassment may be deliberate, unsolicited and coercive.

‘’According to UNHCR policy on harassment, sexual harassment and abuse of authority, both male and female colleagues can either be the victim or offender.  Sexual harassment may also occur outside the workplace and/or outside working hours.  It must be noted that sexual harassment does not necessarily imply a sexual act but even the sexual act might be considered sexual abuse,’’ she said.

Mupfumira questions Parliament’s seriousness on gender issues

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