Appropriate provisions must be made that make it mandatory for political parties to observe quotas for women. There must be gender parity, backed by law, in all decision-making positions and institutions.
The ZESN draft political party’s regulation bill has provisions that require political parties to ensure that they are inclusive in terms of making substantive appointment in their respective parties that women, youth and other disadvantaged groups are included in party structures.
On the other hand, Constitutional Amendment Bill number two proposes the extension of quotas for women by an additional 10 years. Women’s groups’ view is proposed extension as inadequate position, and inconsistent with Constitutional provisions. Recommendations from women’s organisations include:
Section 17 of Constitution which speaks to the need for gender balance should be respected, thus political parties should be obligated to reserve at least 50% seats for women in the Presidium and Parliament.
In addition 50% of the direct election seats should be reserved for women including young women and women with disabilities. Government must ensure that within the 50% direct election seats, 25% of the seats are reserved for young women between the ages of fifteen and thirty-five including young women living with disabilities.
At local government level all direct election seats to be designated according to zebra system by gender with ward designated for women appearing 1st on the delimitation list and ward designated for men appearing second.
On Nomination of Candidates, ZEC must reject papers that do not reflect 50.50. This provision must be couched in peremptory terms.
Political Party Finances Act must be amended to ensure that only political parties that meet the constitutional standard of 50. 50 receive resources under the Act.
Institutional, operational and budgetary punitive measures against parties that fail to comply with the stated provisions must be clearly stated in relevant laws such as the Electoral Act, and the Political Party Finances Act.
The Zimbabwe Gender Commission is exploring the possibility of sponsoring the Gender Equality Act where all the gender equality provisions can be brought and expressed in a manner that can make the rights enshrined in the Commission justiciable.
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