Press Release: Call For Equality in Leadership

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Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ) call Zimbabweans to uphold the Constitution of Zimbabwe to ensure gender equality across all leadership structures and processes at all levels.

In line with our mandate of promoting gender equality and pursuing a Zimbabwe in which women and girls fully enjoy their rights, we are dismayed at the lack of commitment by government in honouring its obligations, in particular Section 56 of the national constitution.

Despite the Constitution being clear on the promotion of gender balance and gender equality, the yawning gaps that still exist within the legal framework have become an excuse for non-compliance across the board, with the state being the major culprits. We note that women continue to lag behind men in decision-making and leadership positions in public, private, economic and social life.

Current trends reflect disregard for gender equality provisions and commitments that Zimbabwe is part of at national, regional and international level. Recently, the Government of Zimbabwe made several board appointments which disregard the spirit of the Constitution. The Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate, and Rural Resettlement made a total of 41 appointments of Board of Directors for parastatals in the Agricultural Sector. Out of the 41 appointments, 9 are women and 32 are men.  Recently, the Head of State appointed 17 Ambassadors, and of these only 4 are women. This is a very disturbing development which reveals poor governance and lack of political will and commitment to implement Constitutional policies faithfully and effectively.

We therefore urge the Government of Zimbabwe to fully implement section 17 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which provides that the State must promote full gender balance in Zimbabwean society, and in particular, promote the full participation of women in all spheres of Zimbabwean society. The same provision also mandates the State to take all measures, including legislative measures, needed to ensure that both genders are equally represented in all institutions and agencies of government at every level, and that women constitute at least half the membership of all Commissions and other elective and appointed governmental bodies.

In the same spirit, we urge our government to learn from other countries who have made significant strides in their walk towards equality, among them being Rwanda, Ethiopia and South Africa and thus call upon Parliament to establish clear procedures and concrete action plans to entrench gender balance in all spheres of the Zimbabwean society. This can be by enacting the Gender Parity Act and any other legislation that specifically and clearly provides for mandatory gender parity in all public, political and government appointments and other elective bodies, in line with section 17(1) (b) of the Constitution.

The participation of women and girls in leadership and decision-making processes at all levels of governance and development processes is fundamental to the achievement of democracy and good governance.

WCoZ believes in the full participation of women and girls in leadership and call upon the Government of Zimbabwe, Political Parties, Civil Society Organizations, and business sector to ensure gender equality in leadership in compliance to the constitution of Zimbabwe. The Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe remains fully committed to advocating for a society where women and girls fully enjoy their rights.

For More Contact: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe, Ronika Mumbire (Chairperson), Sally Ncube (National Coordinator)

31 Harvey Brown Ave., Milton Park, Harare, Tel: +263 0242 701995/6 Cell 0775  708657; Email: coalition@zol.co.zw