Zimbabwe Women’s Parliamentary Caucus
The Zimbabwe Women’s Parliamentary Caucus was launched in October 2001 in response to the SADC Parliamentary Forum initiative. The aim of establishing a Women’s Parliamentary Caucus was for women parliamentarians to rise above party politics and address issues of common concern as women.
2. Structure of the Zimbabwe Women’s Parliamentary Caucus
The operations of the Caucus are guided by a Constitution which provides for, among other things, membership and management of the Caucus
Membership to the Caucus is open to all Zimbabwean Women Members of Parliament and Associate Members, upon payment of a prescribed fee.
An Associate Member is any former woman Member of the Parliament of Zimbabwe.
2.2 Management Committee
The current composition of the Management Committee is as follows:
- Chairperson – Hon. M. Mutsvangwa (ZANU PF}
- Vice Chairperson – Hon. P. Mpariwa (MDC-T)
- Secretary – Hon. M. Matienga (MDC-T)
- Vice Secretary – Hon. M. Dziva(ZANU PF)
- Treasurer – Hon. S. Mahofa (ZANU PF)
- Committee Members – Hon S. Mahoka (ZANU PF); Hon. A. Shiri (Disability); and
- Ex-Officio Members – Hon. M Chinomona (Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly), Hon. B. Nyamupinga (ZANU PF), Hon. M. Mavhunga (ZANU PF), Hon. S. Mangwende (ZANU PF) Hon. J. Majome (MDCT), Hon. T Khumalo (MDC) .Hon T Mohadi ( Deputy whip ZANUPF) , Hon. D Sibanda (Deputy whip MDC T), Hon B Chikwama (Deputy whip) , Hon S Mlotshwa ( Deputy chief whip MDC T), Hon J Toffa ( Chief whip MDC)
- Patron of the Caucus – Hon. E. Madzongwe (ZANU PF) (President of the Senate).
- The Director Research, assisted by Ms. Farai Hondonga provides the administrative secretariat of the Caucus.
The objectives of the Caucus are to:
- Advocate for legislation on gender mainstreaming;
- Facilitate the effective implementation of the national gender policy;
- Provide a Forum for discussion on matters affecting women in the country, regionally and internationally across party lines;
- Develop and establish norms and standards that promote the effective participation of women in Parliament;
- Promote and help sensitize all Parliamentarians to the principles of gender equality in the country, regionally and internationally;
- Facilitate networking with other organisations and institutions within and outside the country, in activities aimed at promoting gender equality and participation.
Highlights of Achievements since 2001
The ZWPC has recorded some notable achievements since 2001 and these are:
- Sexual Offences Act – successfully lobbied for the inclusion of a clause criminalises marital rape and attracts a prison sentence in cases where the offender knew he / she is HIV infected
- Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment No. 17 Bill- passed in September 2005 , it had far reaching consequences on the status of women
Section 23 of the Lanchester House Constitution- part of the Declaration of Rights
- Provided for several grounds upon which a person could not be discriminated against namely race, tribe, place of origin, political opinion, colour, creed and gender and added sex, marital status and physical disability.
- Government to treat men and women equally with respect to allocation of land (50/50)– Land reform
Domestic Violence Act
- Bill introduced during the 2nd Session of the 6th Parliament.
- ZWPC successfully lobbied political parties, traditional leaders, male parliamentarians to support the Bill and proposed penalties
- Gender Mainstreaming in Legislation – ZWPC reviewed existing gender insensitive legislation and policies
Increase of Women in decision making positions
- Main Agenda of the ZWPC in 2005 was to achieve 30% women representation in Parliament and for a women’s quota – lobbied political parties
- Representation rose from 10.6% – 17% in the House of Assembly
- Senatorial Elections held in November 2005 achieved 36
- 7th Parliament representation stood at 18.2% and currently in the 8th Parliament it stands at 34%
Constitution making process 2009 – 2013
- Active participation of women
- ZWPC conscientised all women in Zimbabwe on what women should advocate for in the new constitution
- Established a pressure group during COPAC known as the G20 which also monitored all processes
- ZWPC lobbied all women on the eve of the 2nd All Stakeholders conference to speak with one voice on issues affecting women
- A new gender sensitive national constitution
This process is ongoing process- aimed at personal Empowerment and strengthening women Parliamentarians capacity to engender parliamentary business through understanding how Parliament works. Areas covered are as follows:
- Engaging the media for visibility
- Gender Responsive budgeting
- Legislative analysis – Electoral Amendment Bill, Trafficking in persons Bill, Gender Commission Bill
- Conflict Resolution Management and Transformation
- Cervical Cancer Screening
- Economic and Political Empowerment
- Diplomacy, Etiquette and Grooming
Zimbabwe Women Parliamentary Caucus Strategic Plan (2015-2018)
The Strategic Plan document was successfully crafted to guide the operations of the Caucus for the next 3 years. Its Vision, Mission, and values are as follows:
To create and promote a democratic and gender sensitive environment for the participation of the women of Zimbabwe in all spheres of life.
To promote gender equality and participation of women in Zimbabwe by advocating for the implementation of legislation and policies on gender main-streaming and facilitating forums and networks, nationally, regionally and internationally.
- Non- Partisan