Zimbabwe: Women campaign for 50% women representation in parliament

Zimbabwe: Women campaign for 50% women representation in parliament

Date: October 4, 2011
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Zimbabwe women’s organisations say they will lobby for a no-vote in the referendum if the new constitution does not guarantee 50 percent representation of women in parliament.

During a launch of the 5050 campaign, the Zimbabwe Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe reiterated that this should apply both to the public and private sectors at a recent re-launch of the 5050 campaign held on 5 August in Harare.

“If there is no the 50-50 representation in the new constitution, then we will gun for a no vote in the referendum and since we are more than men, then we can make it,” she said.She is also pushing for the amendment of the Zimbabwe Electoral Act (ZEC) to provide for disqualification of political parties that don’t comply with the 50-50 representation.

The Deputy Prime Minister said even at political party level, intense lobbying behind closed doors was going on to attain the 50-50 representation. Khupe said women have been marginalised for a long time and it was time for both men and women to be given equal opportunities in governance positions.

“We (women) want representation in parliament, cabinet, councils and business. In next elections, let’s nominate women candidates and vote for them instead of choosing men. Women make up 52 percent of the population and we can surely make a change,” said the DPM.

Khupe said plans were also at advanced stage to launch the women’s bank that would finance women projects as a way of empowering them. She said the women’s bank was awaiting approval from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe since application letters were submitted earlier this year. The bank will have branches countrywide top enable women access various finance schemes.

Speaking at the 5050 campaign, the Women Affairs deputy minister Jesse Majome said the 50-50 representation in both government and private sector should be fully achieved by 2015, according to the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development.
Source: www.zimdiaspora.com

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