Mens forum pushes for more women in politics

Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
PADARE/ENKUNDLENI Men’s Forum on Gender is pushing for the enactment of electoral laws that compel political parties to implement the 50/50 gender representation in their structures before being allowed to contest in an election.

Padare/Enkundleni is a men and boys’ organisation that seeks to achieve gender justice in society.
It is piloting a project for Enhancing Women Political Participation (EWPP) in Hwange, Bulawayo, Harare and Chipinge in partnership with International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (Idea).

The Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development is a coordinating partner.

Other countries with a similar programme are Botswana, Eswatini, DRC, Kenya, Senegal and Tanzania.
Padare/Enkundleni is conducting a workshop which is being attended by representatives from Zanu-PF and MDC Alliance in Hwange and Chipinge districts in Victoria Falls to engage political parties towards the agenda of capacitating women and enhancing their participation in politics.

The workshop comes as the country joins the whole world to commemorate 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence which opened yesterday under the theme: “Orange the world: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect.”
During discussions, participants said issues like fear, sexual abuse, lack of resources to challenge men, stereotyping, politics of insults and patriarchy hinder women participation in politics.

In an interview, Padare/Enkundleni programmes development and fundraising manager Ms Thando Makubaza said women are still subjected to gender-based violence and domestic abuse regardless of education or position they hold in society.

“As Padare/Enkundleni we seek to achieve gender justice and this thinking came after realisation that there are few women that participate in politics and take decision making positions.

Our thinking is that there should be laws that compel political parties to implement regional and international conventions such as the Maputo Protocol on Women’s Rights and Sadc Framework for Achieving Gender Parity in Political and Decision-Making Positions as well the country’s and respective political parties’ constitutions.

Ms Makubaza said on paper political parties have brilliant gender policies which are however not being implemented.-@ncubeleon

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