By Nkanyiso Ncube
Women are being urged to register to vote ahead of 2018 general election. Speaking at a discussion organised by Women for Women Solidarity Zimbabwe (w4w) panelists called for more women participation in the political landscape.
Tariro Senderayi a member of the stirring committee for w4w, said women were empowered by constitution which declare voting a human right.
“Under section 67(3) of the Constitution, every adult citizen has the right to vote in all elections. This entails us that we are already empowered by our Constitution, unfortunately most young women have never voted before and this is a group that we need to target,” she said.
Duduzile Nyirongo, a junior pastor with a local church urged young women to stand up and change the status quo through the ballot paper.
“It is everyone’s responsibility to vote and l want to call upon women to stand up and vote because we are now used to complaining in our homes, streets and at workplaces but the honors is upon us to change the status quo by voting. Let us bring the change we want to see and 2018 present us with that opportunity,” she said.
Memory one of the panelists said women had lost voting conscience as politicians always deliver empty promises.
“Women don’t know what to vote for. Voting in Zimbabwe has lost its significance because of empty promises that politicians make during campaign period. As women, we have the numbers and at this point we need to have more women taking leadership positions and support them”.
“We need to support women who are capable of delivering and we don’t need to vote for a person because she is a woman. Through the ballot box we can regain our pride,” she said.
The panelists called upon the church to be the voice of the voiceless and encourage young women to vote and participate in politics.
“A church is a very powerful gathering. Women who are in church need to be encouraged to vote. And the Ministers in churches need to be realistic about miracles God will never come down to vote for us we need to do it ourselves and we should let go the fear of unknown,” they said.
Activist Linda Masarira said lobby groups should go an extra mile by penetrating marginalized areas.
“We have areas like Binga, Mount Darwin were women are marginalised. Women in those areas don’t understand the power of politics and voting. As a lobby group we have to make sure we create an enabling environment for them to feel safe when voting and protect them from intimidation by the local leadership,” she said.
#SheVotes2018 campaign is a non partisan organisation that is independently coordinated by Women for Women Solidarity Zimbabwe (w4w). A brain child of some dynamic young women who came together and saw it fit to serve their generation ahead of the 2018 election.
By Nkanyiso Ncube