A call for 50/50 Gender Representation in the MDC Congress elections.

 Women’s Academy for Leadership and Political Excellence (WALPE), has been closely monitoring the ongoing MDC Congress nominations process and regrettably notices that women are being side-lined from senior leadership positions. So far, the proportion of women nominated to the standing committee (highest decision making body of the party) is a cause for concern.

Women represent less than 10% of all the nominations from the three (3) provinces that have already completed the nomination process, worse most of those women were nominated to subordinate positions. As a party that claims to be a democratic alternative, MDC is expected to do better in providing women opportunities to attain the 50/50 gender representation as mandated in Section 17, 56 and 80 of the Constitution.  

WALPE therefore raises a red flag and calls on the MDC to seriously introspect and create a conducive environment for women to effectively and actively occupy influential leadership positions. Having more women in leadership positions is part of a global United Nations (UN) campaign under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) number 5. Political parties must make concerted efforts to ensure women ascend to senior leadership positions and are allowed to freely discharge their duties.

The participation of women in political leadership is important for national development therefore, it is critical to ensure that political party structures and internal party processes are democratic and inclusive.  It is imperative that the MDC Congress results in advancing women’s representation at all levels of the party institutions and structures.

We therefore challenge the party to demonstrate the democratic ethos they preach. The party cannot talk about democracy, accountability, social justice and inclusivity when women are being side-lined.  WALPE shall petition the MDC leadership before the main congress to consider creating a conducive environment for women to effectively and actively participate in the plebiscite.

The organisation continues to open its doors to assist in enhancing the capacity of women to effectively occupy leadership positions.