Mnangagwa Urged to Appoint Women to Head Defence, Foreign Affairs

A local non-partisan group representing women’s rights, Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCOZ) has called on President Emmerson Mnangagwa to appoint women in key government portfolios including defence and foreign affairs.

Addressing the media today in Harare, WCOZ Chairperson Ronika Mumbire urged Mnangagwa and his administration to ensure that gender sensitive and gender responsive structures are strengthened and adequately resourced.

“We call upon the President to appoint a gender balanced executive, appoint women in the portfolios of health, finance, education, foreign affairs and defense ministries to which men have been perennially appointed,

“He must also extend women’s quotas beyond 2023 and this to be applicable to local government as well. Ensure the state puts in place incentives and punitive measures through the review of the political parties finance act for political parties that fail the 50% gender representation,

“Ensure full domestication of the United Nations Convention of the rights of persons with disabilities, underpinned by women’s rights,” said Mumbire.

She called on Mnangangwa to allocate 15% of the total 2018 budget to the health sector in line with the Abuja Declaration and a return to the prioritization of the primary health care model in Zimbabwe.

Mumbire further called on the new administration to implement laws that significantly improve the state’s response towards the eradication of gender based violence in Zimbabwean societies.

“We want marriage law reform to be accelerated, particular the finalization of the marriage bill which will put to rest the contradictions on the age of consent to marriage and set it to 18 years,

“We also need implementation of laws ensuring the prosecution of offenders that are marrying young girls,

“Take all measures to end violence against women in public and private spaces and further ensure that women are represented in the independent commission investigating cases of political violence that occurred on the first of August 2018,” added Mumbire.

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