Female Ministers ~ a hope for Zimbabwean women

Women in different parts of the country have welcomed the appointment of women Ministers in the new Cabinet which is seen as a move that is aimed at promoting women empowerment.

6 women out of 20 were appointed as cabinet Ministers whilst 5 women out of 9 were appointed as Ministers of State for the Provinces and have since been officially sworn into office by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

These cabinet ministers include Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri Minister of Defence and War Veterans Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation were now headed by women, Ms Kirsty Coventry, Cde Sekai Nzenza as Minister for Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Cde Monica Mutsvangwa as Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Cde Priscah Mupfumira as Minister Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry and Cde Sithembiso Nyoni as Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development.

“I think this a positive move towards gender curbing parity, considering the fact that the old dispensation had fewer women in cabinet and state. Personally, I’ve done a background check on the credentials these women hold and I’m convinced meritocracy was the yardstick,” said Marvelous Tawomera, Zimbabwe Catering and Hotel Worker’s Union Harare branch Women Coordinator.

Tawomera believes that despite the call for 50/50, women have a long way to go to achieve women’s full and equal political participation in achieving equality since there is no woman leading in the presidium.

“We are still not there (50/50) because there is no woman appointed in the Presidium and I feel these positions we were given in Cabinet and State  to silence us from the real fulcrum, nevertheless it’s inevitable that what we witnessed this time was never witnessed before in the previous Cabinets and we hope to see some positive changes to be precise,“she said.

Tawomera also added that women should continue pushing for a 50/50 till roles are at par despite gender.

The appointments which seem to differ from the previous Cabinets comprises of new names and the inclusion of an increased number of women, has also brought up a sense of empowerment through their participation.

Zandile G Sifelani, a Community Development Practitioner, says the current appointments are a marked improvement from the previous cabinets. It is commendable and the constitution is clear about it,for example, Section 58 provides for 50-50 representations.

“Those who say there is no Women capacity need to show what 37 years of a male-dominated cabinet brought. And the merits or lack of merit of one woman should not be held as the standard for all.  As men are judged on individual merit,” said Sifelani.

Women in Politics say the appointment of women in this year’s Cabinet is a positive step in a quest in having gender equality being recognized as it is a Constitutional provision.

“Having 6 women out of 20 in the cabinet is a positive move although it is not a 50/50 gender representation in the cabinet,  this attributes to the fact that few women participated, very few women were nominated and elected into Parliament this year,” says Linda Masarira a Politician.

She also said she applauds the President for the positive move on Ministers of State appointments being in line with the Constitution and being able to show the world and other Zimbabweans how it is supposed to be done.

Although leadership cannot be earned freely through gender or because of the aim to achieve gender equality. It is about the ability and potential to deliver.

“I believe in these women’s capability, it’s a new team some are young they can turn around the fortunes of the young people. Some of them have been in these tranches for a long time,with proper guidance and ideas from the people of Zimbabwe, I believe they will and can deliver,” said Masarira.

The politician urged people of Zimbabwe to give the appointed women a chance and believe in their leadership.

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