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Zimbabwe Women Fear Electoral Extinction

Women constitute over half of the country’s population, but only 55 of the 566 candidates contesting 120 political seats are female in this year’s elections. Although this is the largest number of female candidates in Zimbabwe’s history, the numbers are a far cry from the goals created during the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. For instance, the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patrotic Front (ZANU-PF) last year voted to establish a 33 percent quota system of equal representation in Parliament, but this agreement is yet to be fulfilled. Thoko Matshe, the head of Zimbabwe’s Women’s Resource Centre and Network and global co-sponsor of the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Feminist Expo 2000, argued that the focus on elections as a battle between political parties has stolen the spotlight from a needed dialogue on women’s political representation.

Sources:

22 June Agence France Presse, Lexis-Nexis, 23 June

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