Zimbabwe ranks low in measures of gender parity in southern Africa. South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique boast 46%, 44% and 42% women’s participation in parliament, respectively. Zimbabwe’s political parties need to field more women for direct election, outside the confines of the quota, in order to reach gender parity. A gendered audit of the published list of nominated candidates for direct elections reveals that Zimbabwe’s political parties did not field enough women to reach gender parity in 2023. Data shows that 633 registered candidates contested 210 seats through direct election. Of these candidates only 68 were women. That is, only 11% of aspiring parliamentarians for direct election were women. Of these 68, Zanu-PF fielded 23 women (34%), the CCC fielded 20 (29%), and the remaining 25 women were from small minority parties (27%) and independent candidates (10%). Apart from the women nominated through the obligations of the quota, neither the CCC nor Zanu-PF fielded enough women to make gender parity a reality in the 2023 elections.
SOURCE: THE CONVERSATION