Women demand equal participation ahead of 2023 elections – Tell Zimbabwe

Joyce Mhungu


Women’s rights advocacy group, Women’s
Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ) has partnered with Masvingo’s female politicians
from across the political divide in their quest for a level field ahead of the
2023 elections.

Over the years, women have been
fighting for a seat on the decision making table with the 2018 harmonised
elections proving difficult for women to break even and make it into the highly
toxic political environment.

WCoZ has moved in to partner female
councillors and legislators as they target to stand toe to toe with male
politicians who have for long enjoyed much of the space in politics both at
local and national levels.

Speaking during a virtual Strengthening
Women’s Advocacy for Inclusive Governance (SWAG) meeting held last week,
Masvingo Rural District Council (RDC) Ward 7B councillor, Benengina
Mudambiranwa said women’s rights advocacy groups should offer support to female
politicians for them to match their male counterparts who usually spoil the
electorate during election periods.

“We should get to 2023 ready to take
our male counterparts head on. Organizations which work towards women’s rights
advocacy must give us support as female politicians as we go around

“When male politicians campaign they
have a lot of backing and financial muscles and as women we are disadvantaged
naturally, so every woman should support any aspiring female politicians in any
possible way,” said Mudambiranwa.

WCoZ Masvingo chapter chairperson,
Joyce Mhungu said the meeting was an eye opener which revealed an urgent need
of support for female politicians if they are to achieve a level political

“What we saw is an urgent need of
assistance for women, be it moral or financial support because this is what has
been missing on their part. Usually female politicians are financially
disadvantaged but what worries us is that women constitute more of the
electorate. As an organization we will lobby for women to get some financial
allocation from the government,” said Mhungu.

The meeting was also attended by councillors;
Virginia Hwena (Masvingo Central Ward 19), Susan Samatanga (Ward 34 Gutu),
Sungano Matakanure (Masvingo South Ward 30), Kumbirai Takunyayi (Masvingo RDC
Ward 10) and Members of Parliament (MPs); Yeukai Simbanegavi (Gutu North) and
Jacob Nyokanhete (Masvingo Urban).

Masvingo city has one female councillor,
Alderman Selina Maridza, against nine male councillors proving the gender
imbalance in the local authority.

Female parliamentarians occupy 35
percent of the total number of legislators in the country and out of the 270
seats, 60 are reserved for the women’s quota which some women have called for
its abolishment, demanding a 50/50 representation.

This has also been the case for
aspiring female presidential candidates who have fallen victim of the
patriarchal nature of politics in the country. 


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