Thursday, October 21, 2021
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Religious, Traditional Beliefs Major Hindrance For Aspiring Female Politicians

…as women rights groups demand quality service delivery

Melinda Kusemachibi/Nancy Bayereka

MASVINGO– The political environment has always been deemed unfavorable for aspiring female politicians whose low participation has been attributed to religious and traditional beliefs that bar them from taking up leadership positions.

Speaking during a recent online meeting facilitated by Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ), Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) representative, Tawanda Mafuta said some religious sects were demonizing women who are active in politics.

“Women constitute more than half of the world’s population but their participation in electoral and governance processes that affect their lives is very limited or rather minimal.

“Some religious sects discourage women to participate in political and leadership processes quoting some biblical teachings, therefore, we often see low turnout of women in electoral processes,” said Mafuta.

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Masvingo District Elections Officer (DEO), Gertrude Murumbi said the commission was leading by example as women occupy its top posts.

“The Commission is leading by example. This is confirmed by the balanced gender representation whereby, our chairperson is a female and there are female directors at the Commission. There is no male domination,” said Murumbi.

Meanwhile, WCoZ has teamed up with two other organizations to demand an end to dwindling service delivery, which they believe is mostly disadvantaging women and children.

Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ) and Women in Politics Support Unit (WIPSU) have embarked on a programme, ‘Collective Action to Realize Equality’ (CARE) being funded by Womankind that is meant to capacitate women in demanding efficient service delivery.

Grace Sithole who attended a two-day virtual meeting organized by the three organizations meeting lamented delayed refuse collection and how it has fueled illegal dumpsites that are now a health hazard.

“The dumpsite in Sisk near the Border football ground is a threat to us and our children who pick up used masks and other objects which may be hazardous to their health. Council is not doing anything about the area so they must address this issue because it has become a health hazard,” said Sithole.

City of Masvingo Acting Assistant Welfare and Recreation officer, Chishamiso Mhizha encouraged residents to avoid illegal dumping of waste and compliment council’s efforts in refuse collection.

“Let us always report such cases to our nearest council offices and avoid littering as this affects all of us , so let us help each other and keep Masvingo clean,” said Mhizha.

City of Masvingo currently has only two functional refuse compactors that are not enough for the whole city that is growing.

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