Zimbabwe: A Society "Not Ready for Female Leadership"?

by Tonderai Kwidini

, by IPS

Women make up about half the population in Zimbabwe. But, they’re far from accounting for 50 percent of those on the ballot for this month’s general elections in the Southern African country — sparking concern amongst gender activists.

None of the four presidential candidates in the Mar. 29 ballot is a woman; during the last poll for head of state, held in 2002, Elizabeth Madangure competed alongside five other, male candidates.

Of the 730 hopefuls for the lower house of parliament, only 99 are women (13.6 percent), while 63 of the 195 candidates running for the Senate are female (just over 32 percent) — this according to figures from the Women in Politics Support Unit (WiPSU), a non-governmental organisation based in the capital of Harare. Zimbabwe will also hold local government polls at the end of the month; however, IPS could not obtain statistics for the gender of local government candidates at the time of publishing this report. Read more