WALPE and SAPST release preliminary research results- “The Efficacy of the Women’s Parliamentary Quota system”
WALPE and SAPST release preliminary research results…..
on “The Efficacy of the Women’s Parliamentary Quota system in Zimbabwe”
Focus group discussions in Matabeleland province
Women’s Academy for Leadership and Political Excellence (WALPE), in partnership with Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust (SAPST), from the 29th of August to 2nd September 2019, conducted a countrywide research on the efficacy of the Women’s parliamentary quota system. Areas visited include Manicaland, Masvingo, Midlands, Bulawayo, Matabeleland South and Harare provinces. Data was gathered through focus group discussions and key informant interviews with diverse stakeholders from both rural and urban areas.
Preliminary findings from the focus groups discussions and key informant interviews are as follows:
* The National House of Assembly proportional representation quota system helped in increasing the number of women in the house from an average of 10% (2008) to 32% (2013, 2018).
* The PR system enhanced advocacy and debates around issues affecting women and girls in Parliament e.g. the marriage bill debate, the challenge of inaccessibility of sanitary wear and the need for the Parliament space to be conducive for women to effectively and freely contribute to policy making and the development of the country.
* The quota system capacitated some MPs to stand in constituencies and won.
* Participants indicated the urgent need to increase women representation in key decision making bodies such as local authorities, parliament and cabinet. Three models are emerging to be discussed in detail during the launch of the report.
* Patriarchy remains one of the stumbling block to the achievement of gender equality in all leadership positions in Zimbabwe.
* Violence against women and girls remain a huge inhibiting factor to women’s ascendancy to leadership positions.
* There is need to educate traditional and religious leaders as participants noted that some of them are against the appointment of women in local leadership positions due to patriarchy and ignorance.
* Participants stated that there must be equal representation of men and women in all leadership positions in line with Section 17, 56 and 80 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
* Participants highlighted the selection process of candidates of the quota system, is controlled and largely influenced by men hence relegating grassroots women and youth.
* The FDGs results show that some of the engaged participants especially from the rural areas were not aware of the provisions of the PR system hence the need for more awareness-raising in communities. Additionally, some of the nominated PR candidates are said to be out of touch with the grassroots’ women hence they are not raising concerns of women they must represent.
The consortium also compiled a documentary during the countrywide research process celebrating and counting the gains PR MPs have achieved since they got into office. Former and current PR MPs, constituency MPs, grassroots women, civil society, women activists and other relevant stakeholders took part in the documentary production. The documentary shall be launched together with the research on 26 September 2019. A preceding research validation seminar shall take place on the 19th of September 2019.
Some of the women leaders who were engaged during the research process…
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