Zimbabwean MPs decry discrimination of women in appointments

Goodluck Kwaramba

LEGISLATORS have raised concern that despite constitutional provisions for gender equality, women are still overlooked on important appointments.

This followed motion on the need to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women during the National Assembly session of December 17.

Mutasa North Constituency MP Chido Madiwa moved the motion noting that Zimbabwe, has on paper, committed to ending discrimination against women but lags behind on implementation.

Madiwa said women are sidelined in high-ranking positions in the military and other institutions as well as in politics despite being the majority in the country.

Zanu-PF proportional representation legislator Lilian Zemura supported Madiwa saying it is unfortunate that the country is a signatory to international statutes that it is not implementing.

“We continue to hear that women are lagging behind, they are being suppressed and actually we are being pushed backwards, laws are being laid down which support women but there is no implementation,” said Zemura.

Another Zanu-PF proportional representation legislator Goodluck Kwaramba said it was time to walk the talk in terms of implementing constitutional provisions.

“The issue is on the emancipation of women, empowerment and their rights. Instead, women are being deprived of their rights. Section 17 and 18 of our Constitution talks about equality of women and men — this is only on paper but it is not being implemented. We request that women be granted their rights and opportunities even at the workplace,” said Cde Kwaramba.

Zanu-PF Chegutu East legislator Webster Shamu said there should be monitoring mechanisms to ensure the implementation of gender equality policies.

“Let us not continue to talk about it as a talk show but let us walk the talk. Let us establish a permanent committee that ensures that what we are saying today is implemented,” said Shamhu.

Parliament acknowledged the job women are doing for the success of the nation but not much is being done to advance women.

The August House noted that women were playing a crucial role in the feeding programme introduced at schools by Government and its partners.

However, MDC-T proportional representation legislator Mrs Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga said Zimbabwe has made strides in terms of women empowerment.

She said for example Europe has its own standards for women empowerment which should not be compared with that for Africa.

“I think for a long time African women have believed that they can only learn women empowerment issues when they visit Europe. Look at what has happened in those democracies that have tried to preach to us issues of democracy. They have struggled with issues of bringing women into politics,” said Mrs Misihairabwi-Mushonga.

She said African countries have done much better including developing their cultures to ensure women are put into positions of control.

“What has actually been a problem in Africa is not the man or the culture, it has been the bastardisation of our culture by colonialism,” she said. – Chronicle