GOKWE- Various groups advocating for women’s rights have bemoaned the snail’s pace at which Zimbabwe is moving towards the full realization of gender balance amidst revelations that the representation of women in matters affecting the country remains below par.
In a statement issued on the occasion of the International Women’s Day, the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ)- a national network of women’s organizations and individuals- said the issue of gender equality was not only a matter of concern to the womenfolk but ‘a business issue’.
This also comes hard-on-the-heels of official government records which indicate that women representation stands at 30% in Cabinet; 31% in the House of Assembly; 43% in the Senate whilst a paltry 13.3% of the councilors are female. According to official statistics, female Permanent Secretaries are only 30%, Principal Directors 25% while Directors are at 30%. No state university is under the headship of a female Vice Chancellor.
“The state has established independent institutions that support constitutional democracy like the Gender Commission whose main mandate is monitoring gender equality issues and government must ensure that women are appointed to such commissions and can be chairpersons or deputies”, said WCoZ in a statement.
“Balance is not a women’s issue, it is a business issue. The race is on for the gender-balanced boardroom, a gender-balanced government, gender-balanced media coverage, a gender-balance of employees, more gender-balance in wealth (and) gender balanced sports coverage,” reads the statement.
Since the turn into the 21st century, the Government has prioritized the issue of gender balance and this has resulted in the emergence of vibrant female politicians. Despite these inroads, the Harare administration contends that a lot still needs to be done.
“Women empowerment remains one of the key policy positions of (the Government). It is incumbent upon women to continue pushing for more representation in the affairs of our country. It is not a (misnomer) that countries are referred to as ‘her’,” said the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services in comments posted on their Twitter handle.
The National Launch of the 2019 edition of the International Women’s Day was held in the Midlands Province, Gokwe South District, at Nemangwe Cotton Marketing Board this Friday at an event officiated by Vice President Kembo Mohadi.