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The Speaker of the National Assembly Hon. Adv. commended the three documents namely, Women’s Manifesto, Peace Pledge and Women’s Charter are and they are declared officially launched and handed over to Hon M.M. Mutsvangwa the Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Women Parliamentary Caucus.
Women’s Bank is a historical leverage in the achievement of gender equality in our society. Believes gender parity will be achieved despite current obstacles. Called on the men to become champions of gender parity so that the women do not blow their own trumpet.
Parliament currently has 35% women representation. The Constitution can be amendment so that for a further ten years, there will be reserved seats for women or better still leave it open ended. There are also areas where gender inequity should be addressed in farming, with a paltry 118 farms being owned by women. The government has addressed the issue of land ownership in the 99 year leases where both spouses now enjoy the same rights.
Equality of man and women also applies to the allocation and access to resources as enshrined in the Constitution.
Ho. Adv. Mundenda informed the meeting that the Constitution has now been translated into more vernacular languages. This will help the majority of the population to better appreciate the Zimbabwean Constitution. The copies of the vernacular Constitution can be accessed through the Ministry of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
As an Advocate, he lamented the practice by women who withdraw charges against men who would have flouted the Domestic Violence Act. On the contrary they are also men that are battered by women, but their relatives tell them that it is embarrassing for them to go to court if their wife assaults them.
The Zimbabwean government has addressed discrimination, through the Equal Rights Act in 1982, which recognised women as majors after attaining the age of 21 years followed by the Labour relations act, Education Act, Domestic Violence Act have promoted gender equality.
He called for a cultural revolution on patriarch, male chauvinism, discriminating norms and values and lack of adequate educational qualifications, church practices where women cannot be ordained as priests. It was the Hon. Speaker’s considered view that these are some of the obstacles to the rise of women. He urged the women to walk up straight. Asked why women want to take government to court after elections. He stated that as an advocate, Parliament protects the Constitution and Parliament and the President can be taken to court, for failure to uphold the Constitution while still at it, the women should sue their political parties for failure to include gender equality clauses in their Constitutions.
Zimbabwe is currently ranked 76 out of 139 countries in terms of women representation in government.
It is possible for a Zimbabwean woman to be President of the country, provided they play their cards right. Women must sow up like eagles.
Rwanda has 63.6% women parliamentarians. There are four chambers worldwide where there are no women representatives. First women Head of State was in 1960 in Mauritius. The most powerful woman in the world is currently Angel Merkel of Germany.
The achievement for gender parity has its own challenges. This dates back to the eighteenth century. In 1872 fight for women’s suffrage became a movement in Britain. At that time men could vote at 21 years while women were eligible to vote at 30 years. Such is the long history of the lack adequate women representation in parliament globally.
He thanked all the development partners and various government departments that have strenuously worked at attaining the 50/50 goal.
The Speaker of the National Assembly Hon. Adv. Mundenda urged the women to rise in their political parties and find each other and ensure that the majority of the women go and vote for the women.
Hon. Mutsvangwa further stated that the Women’ Manifesto is key to the development of the Zimbabwean women and it is not the preserve for the current MPs but for the benefit of all women who want to stand as candidates in the 2018 Harmonized elections.
Informed the meeting that Hon Mudenda received an award from UN Women for championing gender equality. The traditional leadership as represented by Hon.Sen. Chief Z.F. Charumbira are championing gender equality.
The 2013 Constitution enabled women representation of Parliament to reach 35%. The time is now to achieve the 50/50 benchmark, in terms of the SADC protocol, which Zimbabwe is a signatory.
The Minister of State for Manicaland Province and Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Women Parliamentary Caucus (ZWPC) and Hon. M.M. Mutsvangwa broke into song,’Around the corner women are coming,’ and was joined by all the delegates.
This election is going to be different as women should vote for each other instead of voting for the men. It will only be achieved through the “pull her up strategy”. She concluded by hoping that the political leadership gathered here will make this happen.
Recalled that some time in 2017, the Speaker of the National Hon. Adv. Mudenda once called upon political parties to address gender inequality.
Rwanda is the leading nation in terms of gender equality at 61% women representation in their parliament and goverment.
Matambanadzo pointed out that the minimum requirement in all Parliamentary seats, local government, commissions and all public and state enterprises boards. She urged that they be a 50/50 representation in Cabinet, traditional leadership, rural districts, provincial councils. This gender equality thresholds should be reached sooner rather than later.
Isabella Matambanadzo, in giving the gender equality in Zimbabwe-Context Analysis applauded the appointment of Hon. M.M. Mutsvangwa as Minister of State for Manicaland Province.
The Regional Director of Hivos Tanja Lubbers pointed out that the launch has come at an opportune time as Zimbabwe will be going into this year’s harmonized elections.
Hon Misihairabwi-Mushonga pointed out that she was elated by today’s launch.
She further thanked the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Adv. Jacob Francis Mudenda for his unflinching support to the women’s cause. Hon. Misihairabwi -Mushonga pointed out in the majority of cases women’s support is outside their own political party.
The Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Gender and Youth, Hon. Priscilla Misihairambwi- Mushonga said that the purpose of today’s launch is to show that women can make it.
The Speaker of the National Assembly Hon. Adv. Jacob Francis Mudenda accompanied by his Deputy Hon M.M. Chinomona and the Minister for State for Manicaland and Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Women Parliamentary Caucus Hon M.M. Mutsvangwa have now arrived for the launch.
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