Improving Young Women’s Participation in Elections- Zimbabwe
ZIMBABWE: On Friday, WELEAD Trust, with the assistance of the Netherlands Embassy, launched its Youth Voter Bus for Young Women in Triangle, Chiredzi.
According to the African Consultation on Gender Equality and Political Empowerment (2017) report, women in Africa are affected by cultural-socio factors that burden them and make participation in all spheres of life difficult, particularly in economic and political spaces.
Young women in Zimbabwe face similar issues in socioeconomic and political spaces, so the WELEAD team set out on a journey to educate other young women about the consequences of not participating in decision-making processes.
The Chiredzi event was a walk-on campaign to encourage young women to vote, spearheaded by thirty volunteer young women.
Information was effectively disseminated by talking to young people on the streets and distributing 400 fliers in total. The flier’s short messages read:
” Your participation is important; you can participate by:
1. Voter registration
2. Encourage other young women to register to vote.
3. Running for a public office such as parliament or city council
Section 20 of the Constitution states that “participation is your constitutional right.”
It is critical to inform young women about the need to disqualify certain cultural beliefs through drives designed to encourage them to participate.
Young women have been and continue to be perceived as second class citizens in most African communities, despite the fact that they are the majority of the population bearing the burden of not participating in or taking leadership positions in previous elections.
Women face both long-term and short-term consequences of exclusion from political and decision-making spaces, according to the African Barometer report (2021).
The Youth Voter Bus for Young Women is cultivating the need for participation in young women by providing information and sweeping away the spirit of discrimination.