Election Resource Centre (ERC) published a nomination analysis fact sheet for the 23 August Zimbabwean elections.
The analysis and fact sheet by ERC informs this writing.
Nomination for Local Authority reflects a slight increase in the number of women contesting as compared to the previous elections in 2018.
The increase is still very low considering the proportional representation of women to men in regard to the total population in the country.
For the National Assembly, the reduced number has been mainly attributed to the exorbitant nomination fee of US $1 000 which is beyond the reach of many.
As to the reduced number of women participants for local Authority which was free is somehow attributed to political violence.
Political violence is so rampant in Zimbabwean politics, previous elections has seen people beaten, killed, maimed and property burnt and this somehow deters women from actively participating in politics.
An analysis by ERC established that, 4999 candidates will be representing 36 political parties and independents as they successfully filed nominations for elections to the 1 970 Local Authority wards.
Only 747 of the Local Authority wards which is 14.9 percent are women candidates.
This is a small number considering that women are the majority in the country.
Recent population census established that 52 percent of 15 million Zimbabwean population are women.
This shows a disparity in the proportional representation of women versus men in accordance with the total population.
ZANU PF successfully filed candidates in all the wards in the country whereas CCC filed 94.7 percent of the total wards.
CCC failed to field candidates in 105 wards.
90 of the local Authority seats are uncontested with ZANU PF winning all as it is the only part which submitted nominations in those wards.
ZANU PF, ZCPD and CCC submitted double candidates in certain wards.
The highest in fielding double candidatures is CCC which submitted double in 23 wards.
However, CCC have distanced themselves from 19 out of the 23 candidates who presented themselves as CCC representatives.
ZANU fielded double candidates in 4 wards whereas ZCPD noted double candidates in one ward.
96.7 percent of unopposed wards falls under Rural District Council which is perceived ZANU PF strongholds wheres the remainder of 2.3 percent are under Urban/Town council.
Women should be actively involved in Local authority as they face the brunt of ill service delivery by such authorities.
The women are affected most by shortage of water as they are the ones who dothe cooking, gardening and washing most of the time.
Women also suffer most when there is sewage blockages as they are home most of the time.
So, having women actively involved in leadership position on issues that affects them the most increases the chances of enhanced service delivery.
Besides political violence, research has also revealed that, household responsibilities, low self-esteem, illiteracy, few role models, gender discrimination and lower expectations were found as some of the key reasons that stops women from participating in politics.
UN Women found that, education, amongst all other factors, is identified as one of the most important causes of the problem that prevents women’s voices from being heard in government.
Girls being forced to stay at home to do domestic work, and missing out on schooling, will have lower self-esteem as a result, one of the factors for low political participation.
Furthermore, it is the male-dominated nature of politics in most countries that puts a glass barrier against women trying to enter it.
More women need to be empowered to speak up in the public sphere.
It creates a vicious cycle that the fewer women are inn politics, the more their needs are being unmet, and the more unconfident they are, the less likely they can voice out their opinion in the government.