Proportional Representation: Fifty-Fifty for Women

Introduction

The proposal to amend the Constitution and extend the quota system for women has been received with adverse comment by the women’s movement. This will extend the current quota system through the 10th and 11th sessions of parliament, as well as adding a party list for youth for proportional representatives, one from each Province.

The proposed amendment has taken little account of the views being developed by the women’s movement (WALPE. 2019). There have been numerous discussions since the 2018 elections concerning the value of the quota system, especially in the light of the disastrous performance of women in that election.

The issues around quotas, proportional representation and the effective participation of women in governance require deep and serious consultation, and considerably in advance of the precipitate manner in which the government has approached the matter. This has been made more urgent with the government’s proposal to amend the constitution and extend the quota system for a further ten years.

Since the Constitution in Section 17 is prescriptive about the equality of women, and the general status of women in Zimbabwe is wholly dependent upon constructive and affirmative legislation and policies, there can be no precipitate action here. This current policy brief therefore summarizes the literature on women’s representation, both nationally and internationally, and makes recommendations on the way forward. It summarizes the findings from two recent reports by the Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU).

Download full policy brief here (503 KB PDF)

Source: Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU)