A 12- person delegation of Zimbabwean MPs, Cabinet Ministers and members of women’s civil society organisations, are in the country on a one-week- study tour aimed at drawing lessons on women emancipation and gender equality.
According to the Deputy Speaker of Zimbabwean Parliament, Nomalanga Khumalo, the delegation will compile a report after their visit that would be used as a reference for the ongoing process of amending the country’s constitution.
“Our visit is centred on gender-related issues. We chose to come to Rwanda because the country has made significant strides with regards to promoting women rights globally,” said Khumalo.
The Director of Women in Politics Support Unit (WiPSU), Cleopatra Ndlovu, said that Zimbabwean women are eager to play an active role in the constitution-drafting process.
“Women’s participation would ensure their issues were articulated and taken on board in the new Constitution. Rwanda is a good case study, that is why top politicians are here to copy from Rwanda and probably adopt the same process,” said Ndlovu.
The level of women’s involvement in politics and other decision-making processes in Zimbabwe is still low with only 18.4 (55) women in parliament, four full cabinet minister and three deputy ministers.
The chairperson of the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus, Beatrice Beata Nyamupinga, said that her country has a lot to learn from Rwanda in terms of pushing gender-related issues within her government.
“We will soon be going through a constitutional reform process. We want to learn how the Rwandan Constitution addresses women’s issues, how the country managed to get as many women into Parliament and also on the role played by women in national healing and peace building,” said Nyamupinga.
Women in Rwanda have a 56.2 majority in parliament, the highest in the world.
The Zimbabweans will also get an opportunity to learn best practices from Rwanda which will in turn contribute to strengthening the effectiveness and representation of women in politics and decision making.
Their tour to Rwanda is also intended to foster networks of women leaders that are committed to supporting and developing women’s leadership and representations.
Some of the top figures in the delegation include the Minister of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development Olivia Muchena, the Deputy Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs Jessie Majome, Senator Rorana Muchiwa and parliamentary researcher, Martin Mugova.