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‘Women politicians must be financially independent’

BY SENZENI NCUBE

Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ) chairperson for Bulawayo province, Mildred Sandi says women in politics should have resource mobilisation strategies to sustain them in their political careers and not rely on assistance from women organisations.  

WCOZ is currently embarking on a project titled ‘Women’s rights Advocacy Campaign’ which seeks to engage duty bearers to implement section 56 of the constitution which speaks to equality and non-discrimination in all spheres by promoting women’s rights and equal political participation.

Speaking during a meeting that was attended by women from different organisations and key stakeholders working towards promoting women and girls` rights in Zimbabwe, Sandi said women who partake in politics should take themselves as investors in their political careers.

“Women in politics should take themselves as resource persons because if you enter into this competitive arena you must have a strategy rather than waiting for women’s organisations to draft a strategy for you,” said Sandi.
She said women should capitalise on the women’s bank to acquire resources.

“We now have a women’s bank where these women politicians can go and acquire loans in order to be enterprising to make money to build a resource bank of what you want to build,” she said.

Sandi said women in politics should not solely depend on women organisation as they also depend on donors to fund certain programmes during a certain time.

“When its election time development partners are there and also women driven organisations because of that political need, you must understand that these organisations also need resources.

“So for as long as they also have no sustainable resource strategy, we will remain visible during election periods and never go back to them after voting season to boost their leadership skills”.

However, speaking during the same meeting, Thembelihle Sibanda said some women organisations tend to use women politicians to raise funds.

“The problem is that these organisations who claim to assist women are making money out of using the name “women” without actually assisting those women,” Sibanda said.

“You find these organisations busy during election time but they do not come back to those women who would have campaigned to boost their confidence to brace for the next election.”

Ward 17 councillor, Sikhululekile Moyo said women are easily left out in leadership positions as they lack empowerment from women organisations.

“ As a councillor of my ward I do not have an organisation that is backing me up, that on its own makes it easy for women to be left out on leadership positions, as it is some people will be planning for 2023 elections but there are no organisations doing the monitoring now,” she said.

Moyo said lack of support from women organisations makes it hard for women to be involved in certain structures.

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