Women urged to run for political office

WOMEN have been implored to contest for political office in the harmonised elections, due later this year, to ensure their issues are articulated.

This was said by Lilian Matsika Takaendisa, chief director, Gender Policy Planning and Programme Management in the Ministry of Women’s Affairs at commemorations marking International Women’s Day held in Murehwa, Mashonaland East province.

“As we commemorate this day, we want to fight against that online gender based violence that is inflicted mostly against women and girls,” she added.
Asked what the government is doing to encourage women aspiring candidates, Takaendisa said the Ministry and its partners were on a mission to encourage women not to drop out of the race for political office.

“As the government, we are working on campaigns for peaceful elections that ensure the peace of women candidates who want to vie for political election and we are also working with our partners who are actually doing peace campaigns and raising awareness in the communities,” she said.
“We have partners who work specifically around those issues of protecting women aspiring candidates. We are saying it is a right of a woman to stand for political election and that person has to be protected,” she said.

Speaking at the same event, European Union ambassador, Jobst von Kirchmann spoke against gender based violence and child marriages.
“Mashonaland East province had the highest number of male inmates convicted for gender-based violence according to a 2021 report by the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services. This province also had the third highest cases of child marriages in 2021 according to the Zimbabwe Gender Commission,” he said.

“But at the same time, Murehwa is also a place where there is a strong commitment of some of my fellow male counterparts to fight for gender equality and women’s empowerment,” he added.
— New Ziana

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