Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

"ZIMBABWE: New cabinet ignores quota for women," IPS, February 26, 2009.

HARARE, Feb 26 (IPS) - Women’s rights activists in Zimbabwe are outraged by the low representation of female politicians in the new unity government. Only four women are part of the 35-member cabinet, laughably short of the equal representation of women in decision-making that Zimbabwe signed onto at a regional summit in September 2008.

Zimbabwe is a signatory to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development, which stipulates that women should hold equal positions to men in both public and private sectors by 2015.

The director of the non-governmental organisation Women in Politics Support Unit (WIPSU) described the gender-biased selection of cabinet members as "shocking" and "sad".

  To ensure women’s empowerment and gender equality are not sidelined again, Zimbabwean women’s rights group[s] have now started to prepare inputs for the country’s new constitution, which, according to constitutional amendment number 19, will be promulgated during the next 18 months.

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