Blessings Chidakwa Municipality Correspondent
GOVERNMENT has been implored to consider introducing a women’s quota system for local authorities after Zimbabwe recorded a two percent decline in terms of women representation in the 2018 harmonised elections, an official said.
The call comes at a time Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda recently said the women’s parliamentary quota system was a powerful gender empowerment tool, assuring its extension beyond 2023 as per its constitutional provision.
Gender Links Zimbabwe country manager Ms Priscilla Maposa applauded Government for its parliamentarian quota system, but said that should be extended to councils.
“Another issue in local authorities is that women are lowly represented both as administrators and also as politicians,” she said. “If we look at our last elections — the 2018 harmonised elections — the percentage representation of women at local government is now at 14 percent, it dropped from 16 percent in the previous election.
“So, as we continue to conduct elections we have seen that the representation of women is actually declining. We are trying to come up with suggestions of how best we can ensure that our Government comes up with special measures to promote the participation of women in decision-making structures.
“We are looking at women as heads of departments, town clerks, chief executive officers, as well as mayors and chairpersons of councils.”
Added Ms Maposa: “Already we have seen that parliamentarians have started lobbying for the extension of this quota system, but the situation is different at the local level because at this level there is no quota system or any other special measure to promote women in politics.
“So, as gender organisations we are working together to try and ensure that our Government can come up with a special measure that will promote the participation and representation of women as politicians at the local level.”
Ms Maposa said a reserved quota would suffice.
“We would want something like a quota, but we may come up with a different quota system unlike the 60 reserved seats we can come up with a special measure that is different for our local authorities at least, so that we can have women represented in their various wards.”