Women Hold Urgent Talks As Petition on Constitution Is Dismissed

This follows the dismissal by the Parliament Constitution Select Committee of their petition in which they were demanding a gender balance in the managing of the constitution process.

Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe chairperson Emilia Muchawa told Radio VOP that her organization was going to hold an urgent women stakeholder meeting to consult the members’ opinion.

“Our  participation in this  process  is  important because  we are  the most  beneficiaries, but however we  are  going to convene  an urgent  meeting to  deliberate on the decision which  has been made by the Parliament Select Committee(COPAC). It’s  unfortunate  that  they have  not yet formally communicated to us their decision to reject our petition.

“As a  membership driven organization we  need  to meet and find a common ground, it  is  only after the meeting  when we  are  going to reach  a decision on whether we  should participate  or  not.

“What  we are  saying is that women  representation in all  the  thematic committees is  very  low, and  we  have  been saying  that since the  onset of the  process, but  no one seem to bother about  our  request. Yes we  were  given the chance  to  submit names of female  members  whom we  wanted  represent us in the process but they  were  not selected. We  do  not  understand  the  criteria  they used  in selecting people to represent  organizations and that are where our query lies.

“We are not sabotaging the process but crying for gender equality,” said Muchawa.

The Parliamentary select committee on Monday said the petition by women organizations was not valid.

“The petition by  women organsation last week was  a political posturing on behalf  of political  actors who  do not  seem to have the  guts to  confront  their  political parties and  organizations. As  we  see  it  the  demand is  illegitimate and driven by selfish  political motives, “said one of the select  co-chair Douglas Mwonzora.

The consultation was  supposed  to start  this  week and has  been postponed  indefinitely following  irregularities  which emerged  in the  accreditation of delegates to spearhead  the  outreach process last  week.

 The Women’s Coalition is a coordinated network for the empowerment of women and girls through lobbying and advocacy, capacity building, information dissemination and resource mobilization and has  a membership  of  more than 35 women organizations in Zimbabwe.