Using The Law To Enhance Women’s Representation And Participation At All Levels Of Political Structures in Zimbabwe
This report presents the findings from a baseline study conducted by WLSA in selected sites in Nyanga and Makoni. The focus of the study is on using the law to enhance women’s representation and participation at all levels of political structures in Zimbabwe. For most people, politics is viewed at a very high level and in a country such as Zimbabwe where politics pervades all aspects of life, this may cause certain levels of discomfort. Indeed, one organisation that we wanted to partner with turned us down because its Board decided that the project was “political” and would fall outside its mandate since it is apolitical. As WLSA, we take a very broad view of politics and we postulate that the starting place for politics is in the home. Women face significant barriers to their full and equal participation in political structures and institutions that govern their lives and these are such barriers as gender inequalities, violence, lack of knowledge on rights and how to access them. For instance violence against women leads to lack of confidence and self-esteem. An abused woman becomes unassertive and lacks confidence to participate in political structures let alone to represent other women at any levels of policy and decision making.
Amplifying the voice of women in politics and decision making in Zimbabwe
In December 2011 the Women and Law in Southern Africa Research and Education Trust received financial support from the United Nations Democracy Fund to implement a two year project in Binga District titled “Amplifying the voice of women in politics and decision making in Zimbabwe.” The project's overall objective is “to increase the number of empowered and assertive women participating in politics and decision making in Zimbabwe” with a particular focus on two wards of Binga district.
Expected key project outcomes by December 2013 are;
Increased awareness and knowledge of marginalized and disadvantaged women in Binga of politics and decision making processes;
Increased capacity of rural women on the legal, policy and international instruments as they relate to politics and decision making processes;
iii. Increased participation by rural women in local and national political processes in Binga district.
The project will train 100 Women Popular Opinion Leaders in Binga district who will in turn reach out to 10 000 women and men. In addition 20 men will be trained on laws which enhance women's participation in political and decision making structures. Three women parliamentarians from Rwanda will tour the project area.