Making the Case for Proportional Representation: Challenges and Opportunities for Increasing Women Participation in Zimbabwe

Abstract

This research paper focuses on women’s participation in politics and decision making in Zimbabwe. It draws from experiences shared by women who have contested in the electoral processes as well as highlight the gap between the women at the grassroot and the elites pushing for changes in the electoral system. It is informed by failed campaigns by the women’s movement in Zimbabwe to achieve gender parity in spite of constitutional provisions that guarantee these. The paper identifies the challenges that women encounter in politics which results in low participation and ultimately poor representation in key decision making positions. It also identifies structural factors that hinder women from participating in electoral processes which impact on the quest for a 50/50 representation in Zimbabwe. A political contextual analysis is required to inform any strategy to increase women’s representation, supported by the constitution and various international, regional and national instruments.

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Source: Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU)