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What women want in a new Constitution
Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWLA)
July 06, 2012
As the drafting
of the new constitution reaches a conclusion and we gear up
for the referendum, Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association encourages
you to support women's demands in the new constitution.
These demands are as follows:
1. Equality and Non Discrimination
Women want all forms of discrimination against them
to be eliminated. Some of the grounds for non discrimination include
but are not limited to sex, gender, marital status, pregnancy, HIV
and AIDS, disability and age and colour.
2. Customary laws should not go against
the Bill of rights
Customary laws should not be used to discriminate
against women. Customary laws should conform to the Bill of rights.
3. Protection of Socio - Economic
Women want the constitution to provide socio -
economic rights which are enforceable (justiciable). These rights
should include but not limited to
- The right to education including adult education.
- The right to healthcare, food water and social
- The right to housing
- The right to a healthy environment
- The right to employment and fair labour standards.
4. Recognition of Children's Rights
Women want the Constitution to make specific reference
to children and provide for their rights. The range of rights that
children should have include include:-
- Right to nutrition, food, shelter and health.
- Right to parental / family care
- The right to an identity
- The right to be protected from abuse, maltreatment
- A child should be any person below the age of
5. 50/50 Representation
Women want to be equally represented in all decision
making bodies in line with the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development.
Women want a 50% representation in all decision making bodies and
6 Proportional Representation
Women want an electoral system that enables their
participation that is proportional representation or a mixture of
this with the First Past the Post System.
7 Right to security of the person and protection
from gender based violence
Women want to be protected from all forms of gender
based violence in both the public and private sector that is at
home, work, community, etc.
Women want the right to physical and psychological integrity to
8. Gender commission
Women want a specific Gender Commission, whose
function will be to promote gender equality. It will have the power
to educate, research, monitor, lobby and advise on gender equality.
Women want to be recognized as full citizens who
have equal rights with men in a new Constitution. Women want the
right equal citizenship to be able to pass citizenship to their
children and spouses.
10. Domestication of International Human
International human rights instruments must automatically
be applicable as law in Zimbabwe upon ratification.
11. Access to resources
The Constitution should provide for gender budgeting
and gender sensitive public financing.
Women want equal access to land and other resources and title should
be available to all land tenure systems irrespective of marital
12. Recognition of the role of women in
The Preamble and founding principles
The Preamble of the Constitution needs to underscore
the role played by women in Zimbabwean society especially during
the liberation struggle and in the fight for democracy.
13. Affirmative Action
The constitution must provide for affirmative action
to address past imbalances on gender inequalities.
14. Promotion of Democracy and good governance
Women realize that their rights can only be enjoyed
within the context of a constitution that promotes democracy and
good governance. Women want a Constitution that upholds the following
- Constitutional Supremacy
- Separation of powers
- The Rule of Law
- Independence of the Judiciary
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