By Staff Reporter
LOSING presidential candidate Elisabeth Valerio of United Zimbabwe Alliance has called upon President Emmerson Mnangagwa to ensure gender balance in appointing public officials.
Valerio contested in the recently held August elections as the only female presidential.
Mnangagwa appointed a cabinet with only six out of 26 ministers are female.
In a statement Wednesday, Valerio said Mnangagwa’s appointment contradicts efforts to achieve gender balance in Zimbabwe’s government.
“The gender regression in President Mnangagwa’s cabinet appears to disregard the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) which targets the integration of gender mainstreaming across all sectors building on government’s commitment towards the National Gender Policy, Gender Equality and Gender Responsive Budgeting Strategy.
“President Mnangagwa’s cabinet ministers include only six women and 20 men. This contradicts past government pronouncements and stakeholder efforts to achieve gender balance in the governance of Zimbabwe,” Valerio said.
The UZA leader also said less women’s representation results in limited opportunities to influence policy making decisions.
“Women and girls constitute 52% of our country’s population yet they continue to be underrepresented across key sectors resulting in limited opportunities to influence policy and access economic and legal protections.
“Women are also highly impacted by cultural and patriarchal barriers. As UZA, we call upon President Mnangagwa to urgently ensure 50/50 gender balance in appointments.
“We acknowledge the delicate and emotive exercise of striving to achieve gender balance and we expect meritocracy to be a criteria when working to establish gender equity,” Valerio added.