Namarita Chivanga – Zimbabwe

Namarita Chivanga – Zimbabwe

Date: June 7, 2012
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Namarita Chivanga, a ZANU-PF councillor from Masvingo, believes that she was appointed as a councillor because of her experience as a business woman. Because of her line of work, she is concerned about markets and how she can start to involve women in the economy and business. Because of her knowledge of business, she has been identified as the councillor to look over markets. She has also become chairperson of the women in business committee in the community; she even organises groups of women to do cross-border trading. Because she has this experience, she is also able to assist women in getting travel documents so that they are able to conduct business out of the country.

Women in politics in Masvingo face a variety of challenges. One of them is the double standards set in terms of women’s behavior while in office. These expectations appear to be held by women as well as men. In a Masvingo focus group, women said that female councillors need to behave respectably while in office and should be above reproach. When questioned whether the same applied for men, they conceded that it did not and agreed that there are double standards when it comes to women and men’s participation in politics, and that these are rooted in culture and socialisation. At the same time, most of the community members who participates in the focus group discussions also spoke about how women councillors were more concerned about marginalised groups of people such as children, orphans and the elderly.


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