The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has said women candidates who won in the just-ended 26 March by-elections were, as usual, fewer than their male counterparts.
ZEC said the Gender Aggregation for Winning Candidates Local Authority was as follows:
a). Female – 15.5%
b). Male – 84.5%
Gender Aggregation for Winning Candidates National Assembly was as follows:
i). Female – 21.4%
ii). Male – 78.6%
See more results on Pindula News. Some of the winning female candidates are Judith Tobaiwa of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) who won the Kwekwe Central constituency seat by 6 639 votes defeating ZANU PF’s John Mapurazi who got 2 883 votes.
Another one is ZANU PF’s Makari Zalerah Hazvinei who won the Epworth Constituency seat by 10 246 CCC’s Kureva Earthrage (8283); Mhetu Togarepi Zivai of MDC Alliance (745); Musiyadzayanikwa Richard of LEAD (92), and Hazvina Innocent Independent (441).
The statistics suggest that the political arena is still dominated by men despite efforts by the government and its stakeholders since the attainment of independence in 1980 to create equal opportunities between men and women.
The Constitution of Zimbabwe, the supreme law of the country, specifically provides for gender equality. Amended and approved in 2013, the Constitution recognises the rights of women and men to equal opportunities in political, economic, cultural and social spheres and guarantees the right to equal pay.
Women in politics have often said they are financially handicapped to challenge their male counterparts while some observed that the electorate does not take women politicians seriously.
Former Vice President, Dr Joyce Mujuru (former ZANU PF member and founder of Zimbabwe People First), and Dr Thokozani Khupe (former Deputy Prime Minister 2009-2013 and former MDC-T VP and interim President) are the only female Zimbabweans to attain powerful posts in politics.
The trend in the region and Africa at large is almost similar to the Zimbabwean case. We present below a list of women who occupied senior posts in politics on the continent:
i). Slyvie Kiningi, Acting President of Burundi (February – October 1993)
ii). Ivy Matsepe-Cassaburi, Acting President of South Africa (September 2005)
iii). Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia ( January 2006 – January 2018)
iv). Rose Francine Rogombe, Interim President of Gabon (June 2009 – October 2009)
v). Agnes Monique Ohsan Bellepeau, Acting President of Mauritius (March – July 2012 and May – June 2015)
vi). Joyce Hilda Banda, President of Malawi (April 2012 – May 2014)
vii). Catherine Samba, Acting President of Central African Republic (January 2014 – March 2016)
viii). Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of Mauritius (June 2015 – March 2018)
ix). Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of Tanzania (March 2021 – Present)
Meanwhile, Voter turnout for National Assembly for the 28 National Assembly Vacancies By-Elections was 36 per cent.