The Women and Law in Southern Africa (WILSA), a women’s rights Non-governmental Organisation (NGO) has petitioned Parliament seeking the amendment of the Political Parties Finance Act to create a provision where female candidates will be given campaign funds.
For a party to qualify for funding under the Political Parties Finance Act, it must have won at least 5% of the total votes cast in a general election.
While research has established that women’s equal participation and leadership in political and public life are essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, data show that women are underrepresented at all levels of decision-making worldwide and that achieving gender parity in political life is far off, according to United Nation Women.
Apart from political violence in the political arena, female politicians often cite the lack of adequate funding as a challenge for them to embark on or enhance their political careers. They say their male counterparts are better resourced.
Joyce Mujuru (former Vice President) and Thokozani Khupe (Former Deputy Prime Minister) are some of the Zimbabwean female politicians to ever occupy higher posts in the southern African country.
This reflects trends across the world. As of 19 September 2022, there were 28 countries where 30 women serve as Heads of State and or Government.
At that rate, gender equality in the highest positions of power will not be reached for another 130 years.
Just 13 countries have a woman Head of State, and 15 countries have a woman Head of Government.
Only 21 per cent of government ministers were women, with only 14 countries having achieved 50 per cent or more women in cabinets.
With an annual increase of just 0.52 percentage points, gender parity in ministerial positions will not be achieved before 2077, according to UN Women.
Only 26 per cent of all national parliamentarians are women, up from 11 per cent in 1995.
Only five countries have 50 per cent or more women in parliament in single or lower houses: Rwanda (61 per cent), Cuba (53 per cent), Nicaragua (51 per cent), Mexico (50 per cent) and the United Arab Emirates (50 per cent).