Level the playing field to ensure women participation in the 2018 elections -WCoZ

By Buhle Tshavango
The Women Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ) has come up with a platform dubbed,” Ground-up, movement building for political accountability”, to reach out to more women and create dialogue on political accountability for women in the 2018 elections.
In one of their online discussions, the need for a non-violent election to increase women’s participation was brought up, urging for a need to desist from hate speech, sexism and physical violence.
Whether Zimbabwe is ready for a female President is questionable, former Vice President Joice Mujuru enjoyed moments at the helm of power and was appointed acting President on various occasion, however, when it comes to being elected into actual office scepticism arises.
“Voting for women brings diversity, Zimbabwe is made up of men and women, and we have more women at 52 %, so why are we not having high numbers of women in governance structures?” questioned Kudakwashe Chitsike from the Research and Advocacy Unit.
Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) representative Heather Koga reiterated on these sentiments saying voting should be focused on capacity not gender.
“A female President and a male President are equally able, as long as someone has the capacity and is voted in through a free and fair  credible election, they are ready to become a President”, said Koga.
Virginia Muwanigwa Director for the Human Facilitation Information Centre says women have always been at the brunt of policy failures and have had to deal with the impact of violent elections.
”…At policy making we have left our burdens as a country for the women to manage, whatever policy failures have been taken forwarded by women who have had to take up home based care to address issues of people living with HIV and AIDS, crossing multiple borders and being abused to ensure Zimbabwe’s economy stays afloat.
“We trust women to pick up when things fail, why not trust them to lead”, she said.
Women have called for a level playing field which offers female-friendly electoral processes at all stages.

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