The Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCOZ), representing nonpartisan women’s rights organizations and activists in all 10 provinces of Zimbabwe expresses concern over the recent appointments to the presidium that do not honour gender parity.
It is an established fact that His Excellency, The President of the Republic of Zimbabwe appointed into the Presidium, two male Vice Presidents. As Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe, we are aggrieved by these developments as we note that the appointments do not reflect gender equality and constitutionalism.
The Constitution of Zimbabwe, which is the supreme law of the land, provides that Zimbabwe is founded on respect for values and principles of gender equality. Section 17 states that,’’ the state must promote gender balance and must promote the full participation of women in all spheres of society on the basis of equality with men . Section 56 also speaks to equality and non-discrimination stating that women and men have the right to equal opportunities in political, economic, cultural and social spheres. Section 80 states that every woman has full and equal dignity of the person with men and this includes equal opportunities in political, economic and social activities. It therefore follows that equal gender representation in all institutions of government is paramount.
We also note that the recent appointment of the Presidium is not an isolated case where women have not been afforded equal representation as their men counterparts. The Cabinet of November 2017 had 22 Ministers only 5 of them were women. The recent Commission of Inquiry appointed to look into the violent events of 1 August 2018. The President appointed a 7 member Commission, which is composed of 5 men and only 2 females. Out of the recently held elections there are 85 female members of parliament out of a total of 270. These are merely examples we are pointing out, the list is endless.
We therefore call upon the Zimbabwe Gender Commission to execute its duties as outlined under Section 246 of the Constitution, and act as follows:
- Closely monitor the issue on gender parity regarding Government appointments, including the incoming Cabinet.
- Recommend to the Executive the enactment of a law that specifically provides for gender parity and makes it mandatory in all political and government appointments, in line with section 17(1)(b) of the Constitution.
- To recommend affirmative action programmes to achieve gender equality in all government institutions ,private sector and political parties .
- To advise the government on steps to be taken to ensure gender equality as contemplated by section 246(f) of the Constitution