By Daniel Chigundu
Only four women have been successfully nominated to contest for the post of President in the impending 2018 general elections set for July 30.
Women have always taken a back seat when it comes to contesting for top posts in both public and private platforms as the elections tend to be associated with violence and always in favour in males.
Though the country’s constitution has spoken about the topical issue of equality between males and females, the implementation of those clauses has been questionable.
Although there are several women who are leading political parties in the country, only Melbah Dzapasi of #1980 Freedom Movement Zimbabwe, Joice Mujuru of People’s Rainbow Coalition, Thokozani Khupe of MDC-T and Violet Mariyacha of United Democratic Movement made it to the list of the final 23 candidates vying for the top post.
In an interview on the sidelines of the nomination court at High Court of Zimbabwe Violet Mariyacha of UDM said she is confident of victory.
“My chances are 100 percent, I am the next female President of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe needs a mother, it has been hurting for too long and we are giving mothers, fathers and everyone an opportunity for a new start.
“We have fielded less than 100 candidates but we are also working with a lot of independent candidates, but the playing field is really not level,” she said
Last month speaking at a seminar at the University of Zimbabwe organised by the Election Resource Centre, Harare West legislator Jessie Majome said as long as there is no equality in the distribution of posts, the elections cannot be deemed credible.
According to Majome, although women constitute about 54 percent of the country’s population when it comes to representation in various bodies they are the “majority minority”.
Proportional Representation Member Priscilla Misihairabwi had wanted the Electoral Act to have a clause which would force political parties to designate half of all contested seats for women in the name of equality.
Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda speaking during the post budget seminar last year said if there was no deliberate attempt to address the issue of gender through party constitutions then the number of women in Parliament will likely to go down.
It is widely believed by gender activists that by having more women such places as Parliament will go a long in helping raise issues that affect women.
During the time of the Inclusive Government, Zimbabwe was applauded for considering women for top positions following the appointment of Joice Mujuru as Vice President of the country, while Thokozani Khupe was Deputy Prime Minister.
It however, remains to be seen how these women candidates will fare when the election results are eventually announced