Violence, intra-party structural barriers inhibit women’s political careers: WRN

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By TARIRO MASUNDA

WOMEN Reform Network (WRN) has expressed concern over the negligible number of women who were elected as councillors and MPs during the recent by elections and blamed violence and intra-party structural barriers and traditions for limiting women’s ability to run for political office.

In a recently published petition to political parties, WRN realised that intra-party structural barriers and traditions, limit Women’s ability to run for office during elections and condemned violence against women in politics.

“Realising that the decrease in participation of women is also a result of intra-party structural barriers and traditions, which inhibit women’s ability to run for office. Condemning incidences of violence against women in politics recorded before, during and after the by-elections, forcing some female candidates to drop out of the primary electoral processes.”

WRN went on to reveal their deepest concern over the decrease in number of female contestants to political parties’ and failure to include more women to participate.

“Deeply concerned that only a paltry 15.5% of women were elected as councilors and 21.4% as MPs, a far cry from the constitutionally mandated 50/50, attributing the decrease in number of female contestants to political parties’ failure to field more women despite a commitment to do so”

WRN urged political parties to formulate and implement policies and strategies that accommodate women and commit to end all forms of violence against women in politics.

“With the 2023 harmonised elections fast approaching, we urge political parties to formulate and implement policies and strategies that capacitate women with various leadership skills and techniques to boost their confidence to fully participate in electoral processes as both candidates and voters.

“Commit to end all forms of violence against women in politics and punish perpetrators including barring them from contesting for any leadership position”.

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