MAKOKOBA MP Gorden Moyo has criticised under-representation of women in local government and President Robert Mugabe’s Cabinet saying it would hamper development.
Moyo, speaking at a Women’s Institute for Leadership Development public lecture commemorating the International Day of Peace at Bulawayo Club on Friday, said having eight women councillors in Bulawayo was “not good enough.”
“I am not proud as a politician that among the 29 councillors that we have only eight are women,” he said.
“Of course it is an improvement from three in the previous council, but it is not good enough. This is a situation where the good is the enemy of the best.”
Moyo said empowerment of women through education and putting them in positions of authority would result in a positive transformation of Bulawayo.
“We need women with substance. We need women with influence and we need women with emotional intelligence in order to change our Zimbabwe and change our Bulawayo,” he said.
“We should not have women filling up political and business places just to (window dress) and say that we now have women in Parliament, council and women running companies
“In order for us to change Bulawayo, to transform and grow Bulawayo, we need to make sure that we energise our young women, our girls and make sure that they are educated.
“Education has no substitute.”
Moyo said the under-representation of women in Cabinet had undermined Zimbabwe’s development.
“We have a challenge in Zimbabwe where only 11% women are in Cabinet.
“That’s not good for the 21st Century economic development. We should instead be in sync with the rest of the world.”
He said the country had ignored the Beijing Declaration of Indigenous Women and the Convention for the Elimination of all Discrimination Against Women by only having four women in Cabinet.
“The ideas of women are transforming and I believe that in Zimbabwe, if our government for the past 33 years had really prioritised women’s issues and women development, if we had listened to and practiced all those instruments, Zimbabwe would be different and better,” Moyo added.
Mugabe defended his appointments saying there were not many educated women from the pool of MPs he had to consider for Cabinet.