ZIMBABWE: Women's Active Participation in National Issues Laudable

Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Southern Africa
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The MDC Women's Assembly has celebrated the resilience shown by women to fight off socio-economic hardships caused by instability in the political landscape of Zimbabwe.

Addressing stakeholders at a Women's Constitutional Consultative Conference held in Harare, Mrs Sibusisiwe Bhuda-Masara, the MDC Women's Assembly Secretary General said the MDC is committed to a new Zimbabwean constitution which clearly spells out women's rights.

"The MDC Assembly of Women would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the women of Zimbabwe for their active participation in the constitution-making process. Your participation has been robust and incisive as shown by the outcome in the widely leaked draft constitution. The outcome marks the beginning of a new phase of the completion of our struggle for an equal and just Zimbabwe for women," Mrs Masara said while reading the solidarity message on behalf of the Assembly's Chairperson and Home Affairs Minister, Hon Theresa Makone.

She said women were tired of waiting for the constitution whose progress continues to drag.

"Let it be understood by all, that women of Zimbabwe can no longer take the dithering in the conclusion of the current constitution-making process as this charter marks a departure for us similar to the break from colonialism to independence in 1980.

As we prepare for the second Stakeholders' Conference, the referendum and the elections, let us work together, mobilise women for active and equal participation in all the processes and advocate for and ensure zero tolerance on political violence and gender marginalization at all levels," said Mrs Masara.

The Assembly of Women said the MDC will join progressive women in the pursuit of justice, equality, liberty, freedom, transparency, a humble, obedient and accountable leadership and their specific inclusion in the new Zimbabwe constitution.

"We celebrate the women of Zimbabwe for their resilience and their strong contribution to the social development of Zimbabwe despite the violation of their rights which include violence against them, both physical and psychological, feminization of poverty, limited access to education, health, justice and food as well as lack of access to and control of property, land and other economic resources," she said.

"With the guaranteed 50% representation of women in all decision-making positions in the Constitution, let us all work tirelessly to recruit, enhance capacity and strategically position women in their diversity, at all levels and especially, young women to take leadership positions and achieve the target of 50% representation of women.

"Together to the end, the MDC Assembly of Women is committed to and will work with men and women of Zimbabwe to deliver real transformation for the women of Zimbabwe. May we put our differences aside, unite and be a solid force to transform and uplift the lives of women and children in Zimbabwe," she added.

The conference sought to critic the leaked draft constitution and check if it adequately covers issues raised by women during the outreach.

The Copac draft is yet to be officially released though the Herald, through various sources in Zanu PF who sought to discredit the process, leaked it to the public domain earlier this year.

The conference was hosted by the Women's Coalition of Zimbabwe and drew women and men from civic society organisations and all political parties.