Women’S Affairs, Gender and Community Development Minister Oppah Muchinguri (pictured right) has raised concern over the failure by fellow ministers to observe the 50-50 representation in the appointment of parastatal boards.
Speaking in an interview on the sidelines of the belated International Day of Families commemorations held in Harare yesterday, Minister Muchinguri said most of the boards were dominated by men, a situation which stalled the attainment of gender balance on the boards.
“I am worried because women continue to be sidelined. There are a lot of women who are qualified to be in those boards but they were not appointed,” she said.
Minister Muchinguri said she was now pinning her hopes in the Gender Commission which, she said, would be set up soon.
“I am just hoping that the Gender Commission which has already been approved by Cabinet will help address the gender disparity evident in the appointment of the various boards,” she said.
She cited boards appointed by the Minister of Energy and Power Development as an example where only two out of the 10 boards have women as chairpersons.
Meanwhile, Minister Muchinguri reiterated the need for stiffer penalties for perpetrators of child abuse and rape.
“We are saying the minimum sentence for anyone who rapes be pegged at 30 years so that cases of child and women abuse may be reduced,” she said.
Minister Muchinguri called on church leaders to have doctrines that do not expose children to abuses.
“Church leaders who are here please help us because some of you and your congregants are abusing children, marrying under-age girls to old men as well as depriving them of the right to education,” she said.
“I also urge every parent here to closely monitor children to notice any change in behaviour that may be caused by abuse, whether sexually or in any other form.”
In a speech read on her behalf by Miss Rumbidzai Kahari, Minister of State for Harare Metropolitan Province Miriam Chikukwa said the family unit is under threat from homosexuality.
“As you may be aware, the family is under threat in the world as some people are striving to redefine what is family through the lobbying for homosexual marriages,” she said.
“I am pleased to inform you that the Government is committed to the continued existence of the family as we know it today (anti –gay).”
The International Day of Families is celebrated on May 15 every year to show the importance of families to people, societies and cultures. around the world.