FEMALE politicians have bemoaned lack of support from fellow women, who they say are at the forefront of perpetrating violence and hatred against other women.
During a meeting hosted by the African Women Leaders Network (AWLN) Zimbabwe Youth Caucus, and supported by the United Nations (UN) Women, which was attended by female politicians across the political divide, women’s rights activists and government representatives, female politicians said they did not get support from women to attain political posts.
Zanu PF Harare provincial women’s league chairperson Betty Nhambu-Kaseke said there were several instances where women were the ones at the forefront of perpetrating violence against her.
“I joined politics at a very young age of 16, but the journey was not very pleasant. I suffered abuse, harassment and humiliation, but it was from fellow women,” she said.
“They led the attacks and men followed suit. Rising in the political ranks could be easier if women provided full support to their fellow women who have political aspirations. But instead, we denigrate each other, hence female politicians have to be strong to withstand such barriers from both men and women.”
MDC Alliance youth assembly leader Cecilia Chimbiri said: “My story has been written in various versions which are out of touch with the truth. Men speak about us on social media, humiliating and harassing us. Where do they get those guts? Because we are not united as women.”
A Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) post-2018 elections gender survey shows that a high number of women withdrew their candidature citing harassment and covert violence.
Zec commissioner Netsai Mushonga urged women to vie for top political posts and form political parties to fight disparities in politics.
UN Women country representative Delphine Serumaga said: “We must, therefore, collectively fight for women’s effective representation in politics and decision-making positions.”
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