Women chicken out of 10 council by-elections

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GWERU – Women’s Coaltion of Zimbabwe (WCoZ) is concerned with the non-participation of
women in all the 10 by-elections to be held next month.
A total of 22 male candidates will contest in the council by-elections to be held in Gweru,
Mberengwa and Binga municipal wards.
There will be elections in Gweru’s Ward 4, 5 and 18. Mberengwa will have one by-election in Ward
28. Six wards are up for grabs in Binga.
WCoZ said it was not happy with the current trend whereby women are not actively participating in
the electoral processes as candidates.
In an interview, WCoZ Midlands chairperson Nozipho Rutsate said the women’s rights organisation
was not happy with the current trend whereby women are not actively participating in electoral
processes as candidates.
She noted that the previous by-elections were also not represented well with only a few females
contesting across the country.
“To this day, women of Zimbabwe continue to be the majority electorate but are underrepresented
in governance structures and processes.
“This underrepresentation takes us steps back in our campaign for gender equality and equity were
at the end of the day, women deserve to be equally represented in key decision making processes,”
she said.
Rutsate said women seem to have lost confidence in contesting with their male counterparts “who
are already known leaders in the community”.
“Men can easily invest time and resources as they don't have an additional care and domestic work
duties as women.
“Women who wish to contest for the first time would stand a limited chance of winning as they go
against longstanding male candidates that are always being elected back into council based upon a
track record of achievements or impact they would have made in their wards and communities,”
said WCoZ Midlands chairperson.
She said as the country heads for the 2023 harmonised elections, there was need for political parties
and investors to fund rigorous campaigns for female candidates to help them stand against their
male counterparts.
Rutsate noted that the political terrain in Zimbabwe “is rather more violent, expensive for women
and time consuming”.
“Political parties should also adopt and implement a zebra system where more women shall stand a
chance to become contestants in the upcoming elections,” WCoZ Midlands chairperson said.

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