'Make polling stations accessible to women'

HARARE - Polling stations should be located close to areas such as churches and shopping centres to make them more accessible to women, National Peace and Reconciliation Commission acting chairperson Lilian Chigwedere has said.

She told the Daily News on the sidelines of a women and elections dialogue on Friday that women — who constitute the majority in the country’s population — should be afforded the right to vote.

The dialogue, organised by the Women’s Coalition in Zimbabwe, highlighted the struggles that the female electorate and candidates face.

“Why don’t we use existing structures where women will not make too much of an effort to move from their bases. There is a complaint that the registration centre in Mbare at Remembrance offices is too far for many,” Chigwedere said.

“People need to understand that large sums of women and eligible voters congregate at churches during the week and on weekends. Polling stations should be taken there to reduce the hassle of moving about too much; also at shopping centres where we know there will be a lot of people. That is where the stations should be for maximum traffic,” she said.

If polling stations were placed at those centres, she said women will no longer have an excuse of why they could not vote. Female Prisoners Support Trust (Femprist) director Rita Nyampinga said women are not protected from violence and intimidation during the election season.

“Politicians and especially men should not take advantage of situations and hold people at ransom. When a disaster strikes such as floods, do not donate under the banner of a political party to get votes. If you want to give, do it genuinely. Often, people are told that as a prerequisite to get food aid, they must support or vote for the person who is donating,” she said.

Comments (1)

ichokwadi ngazviitwe mai makaura ana mai amachembere kune polling station haaaa kure shuwa taurai neve machurch

g40 - 3 October 2017

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