MDC Assembly of Women has said that the political culture in the country was shoving women, particularly rural women, from the political arena. The party said that the inclusion of women in governance issues was essential for the transformation of communities and the country at large. Below is the Assembly’s statement issued on International Day of the Rural Woman.
The MDC Assembly of Women today joins the world in celebrating International Day of the Rural Woman. Over 80% of women in Zimbabwe live in communal areas where they form the bulk of the farmers and provide most of the labour.
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Rural women depend mainly on agriculture and the lack of property rights compounds their plight yet they play a pivotal role in the development of our communities. Their state in communities defeats the logic of equity as enshrined in the supreme law of the land.
The MDC Assembly of Women is disheartened to note that women in rural areas remain economically disenfranchised as most of them survive on subsistence farming where they get little returns from non-viable markets.
Political violence is a major inhibitor of women participation in politics. Zimbabwe’s political landscape has become a hard-hat area for rural women, where rape, torture and asset-stripping do not resemble any modernity. The Assembly calls for fairness and equality on the political field and this can only be achieved if victimisation real or imagined, as well as stereotyping, is eradicated.
The Assembly further notes with concern the glaring disparities in access to information between rural and urban women dwellers. Reports indicate that about 37% of women in Zimbabwe have no access to media and therefore calls for redress in this regard.
It is our desire to have educated, informed and empowered women in rural areas. The Assembly, therefore, advocates for special training programmes and awareness campaigns. To that effect, communities need to take into consideration and value the multiple roles that women do in development.
The MDC believes that having more women in local governance especially in rural district councils will help in tackling major issues that affect women most.
MDC Assembly of Women