Campaign seeks young women’s participation in elections
By Nkosana Dlamini
THE Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe has launched a media campaign aimed at encouraging local young women to both register to vote as well as participate as candidates in next year’s elections.
The project targets those of between the ages of 18 and 30 who are resident in Bindura, Mutoko, Masvingo, Kwekwe, Gweru, Kadoma, Nkayi, Lupane, Gwanda, Hwange, Tsholotsho and Plumtree.
The programme, which runs from September to January, next year, is targeting at least 2,400 in all the cited areas while encouraging at least 60 women to stand as candidates.
During the duration of the campaign, the feminist group shall also monitor violations on women’s electoral rights.
Speaking during a brief launch ceremony of the project in Harare this week, Zimbabwe Women’s Bureau communications officer Tatenda Nyamhunga (pictured) revealed she was among local young women who previously felt elections were a waste of time in Zimbabwe as results were often predetermined by continued rigging by politicians in charge of the process.
“My story is not different from those of other young women in 2013, a few registered and a few voted,” Nyamhunga said.
She regretted that young women’s interests were not specifically designated during electoral processes as they were bundled among those of the youths or women in general.
She also regretted that the country’s political terrain was unsafe for young women who were exposed to sexual exploitation at a time older women were not safe either.
Wendy Muzite, who also gave sentiments during the ceremony, called on more enlightened young women to encourage their peers to take part in the country’s electoral processes as they were more inclined to understand one another than when the message was coming from older women.
“We should also show interest in political affairs and awareness of opportunities to engage. A voice represented by one familiar to ours is often well heard,” she said.