Midlands women politicians set aside differences

By Stephen Chadenga 
Female politicians from across the political divide in the Midlands province have vowed to put aside their differences and work together to improve the participation of women in governance and electoral processes.
Speaking recently at a Women Coalition of Zimbabwe (Wicoz), Gweru chapter virtual meeting on “MPs and councillors linking and learning meeting”, councillors and legislators from various political parties said there was need for a combined effort to increase women participation in governance and other decision making processes.
“In fact the starting point for us as women is to lobby the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to make sure that political parties that fail to meet the 50-50 gender parity in the selection of candidates are disqualified from participating in elections,”MDC Alliance Midlands MP (proportional representation), Catherine Gozho said.
Another proportional representation legislator from the MDC-T, Teti Chisorochengwe said women should support each other regardless of political affiliation.
“Let us shun the pull her down syndrome and support each other as women. Despite the different political parties we come from we are bound by womanhood,”she said.
Zanu PF Vungu Rural District Council councillor Yeukai Paradza said it was disheartening that women continue to lag behind in terms of representation in most local authorities in the province.
She said women should continue creating platforms where they meet to discuss issues of common interest.
“There is need for women councillors to continue meeting and share experiences regardless of political affiliation,”she said.
Gweru urban councillor Catherine Mhondiwa (ward 13) said as the only woman representative at Gweru City Council she advocated for women’s interests from all political parties “without fear or favour.”
She commended Wicoz for coming up with programmes that empower women through capacity building saying the move had build a lot of confidence in women to participate in governance processes.
Wicoz provincial coordinator, Vimbai Nhutsve-Musengi said the meeting aimed at creating a platform to build a common agenda for women participation in decision making processes.
“The MPs and councillors meeting seek to nap out possible synergies that can be created for continuous¬† collective lobbying and advocacy for equal participation in governance and electoral processes,”she said.