'Zim women shun politics'

HARARE - Violence and a deeply chauvinistic society are locking middle-aged women out of politics in Zimbabwe, a new survey has found.

The study, by the Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU), found that women are more politics averse than men.

The polarised and often violent politics of Zimbabwe in the past two decades seem to have had the effect of demobilising women, and the group of women that should be in the forefront of pushing the feminist agenda are largely silent or silenced.

“Zimbabwean women, like Zimbabwean men, do not show the characteristics of active citizens, and young middle-class women in particular have strong reservations about participating in politics,” said the report titled Do Middle Class Women Defend Democracy.

“These young women even avoided registering as voters or voting, rather using the time to catch up with family and friends. However, women who strongly support democracy, as opposed to one-party or military rule, can be described as active citizens, irrespective of their class.

“The young women want to participate but are failing to find spaces they are comfortable in to express themselves politically, and it is important for them to see that sitting out is also a political statement.”

The RAU report said for middle-class women, this may not merely be due to the political climate or patriarchy, but the consequence of being largely ignored by political parties, social movements and civil society organisations (CSOs).

“Redressing this absence might be relatively simple: engage middle class women in their own spaces — they don’t do rallies or public meetings; engage them women to women — build engagement around their concerns’ provide them with information relevant to their concerns; provide them with strong mentors — models are crucial, and not always those that are seen to be the bravest or most outspoken,” the report said.

Comments (1)

It's not that women are not interested no ! They wait for the right time , .Divine appointment

Mariyeti Mpala - 15 April 2017

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