Women have been urged to exercise their constitutional right through participating in the upcoming by-elections, it can be established.
Speaking during a meeting hosted by the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCOZ) Midlands Chapter on voters’ education women activist Merjury Makunere said it is imperative that women partake in the election process.
Makunere stated that Section 67 (3)(a) of the Constitution provides that every Zimbabwean citizen who is over 18 years has the right to vote in all elections and referendums and to do so in secret.
“To ensure that you exercise your voting right as a woman, you need to first of all register to vote. The primary purpose of VR roll is to confirm the individual’s eligibility to vote during an election,” she said.
Makunere further highlighted that as women we constitute 52% of the population, therefore there is a need for women to support each other demanding space as enshrined in the Constitution.
“As women, we should know that there is nothing for us without us, also we have provisions in the constitution such as section 17, Section 56, and Section 80, these laws all speak on women’s rights. Therefore let us go out and vote during by-elections since our vote matters in influencing the economy and also influencing changes we might want in our society,” she said.
Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting Rosewitter Matsveru WCOZ Kwekwe Chairperson said that, it is necessary for women to participate in elections since the future is female.
“I believe that women can lead, and there is a need for more women to take up positions in political parties in order to participate in elections because we want our voices to be heard as women in all leadership positions,” she said.
Matsveru further highlighted that most women shun away politics because of victimisation, name-calling, and other patriarchal reasons.
“As women in Midlands let us fight patriarchy, let us be sisters’ keepers and vote for each other so that in Parliament we have more women representatives who know our issues as women, and who advocate for us as well,” she said.
Melody Chingarande an aspiring Citizen Coalition for Change (CCC) candidate for ward 5 said that the main reason why women do not want to take up leadership positions or register to vote is because of fear. She also said that as a candidate she experience victimisation and intimidation in the community.
“As an aspiring candidate, I have been labeled as a prostitute. I have been told that women are not capable leaders. I have been intimidated but that does not mean I will give up. They have done enough, I will contest no matter what. I will not withdraw my candidature over these intimidations, plus I am now stronger than before, l feel like lm going into my second term though it is a mere by-election left with less than twelve months in office,” she said.