Only 70 women contesting for 210 Parliament Seats

Only 70 women contesting for 210 Parliament Seats
Only 70 women contesting for 210 Parliament Seats

Only 70 women contesting for 210 Parliament Seats #ElectionsZW

The candidates’ list gazetted by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has revealed that women are not yet empowered to contest for constituency-based Parliamentary seats.

According to the list, only 70 women were successfully nominated to contest for the 210 National Assembly seats across the country.

The number of women does not compare with that of males which is around 561.

There are many constituencies in both urban and rural areas where there are no women candidates.

Bulawayo Province has the largest number of women (16) contesting for part of the 210 constituencies, followed by Harare which has 14, Mashonaland West and Matabeleland have 8, Midlands has 7, Mashonaland East 6, Manicaland and Masvingo have 4, Matabeleland South 2, while Mashonaland Central has only 1 (Shamva North).

The deplorable figures for women come at a time when the constitution of Zimbabwe talks about equal representation.

The Constitution went as far as creating the Zimbabwe Gender Commission to ensure issues of gender are taken seriously.

However, the gender commission has been caught sleeping on duty on several occasions as the number of females continues to fall with each election.

Women in Zimbabwe argue that they are not yet able to contest at par with their male colleagues whom they claim have an unfair advantaged.

Even the creation of the 60 Proportional Representation seats in the National Assembly has not helped in uplifting women politically.

In the previous Parliaments (the 8th and the 9th Parliament of Zimbabwe) women who benefitted from the 60 seats have often performed badly.

The 60 seats were set to expire at the end of the 10th Parliament of Zimbabwe in 2028, however, their life was extended through Constitutional Amendment Act No.2 of 2021.

Speaking recently, Labour Economists and African Democrats (LEAD) president Linda Masarira said it was not yet Uhuru for women.

She indicated that there is no democracy without women, adding that she was worried by the silence of the Zimbabwe Gender Commission, in terms of ensuring gender equality in the country.

Women constitute the majority according to the census statistics and they are also the majority of the voters, but they are always found wanting in terms of being candidates and occupying positions in political parties.

Zimbabwe is going for elections on the 23rd of August this year. Zanu PF and Citizens Coalition for Change account for most of the candidates that will take part in the 2023 elections.

Only 70 women contesting for 210 Parliament Seats #ElectionsZW