Jina Moore, “Zimbabwe’s Inclusive Government Forgot to Include Women,” Global Poverty, June 23, 2010.
“A coalition of local human rights NGOs in Zimbabwe, together with the International Center for Transitional Justice, recently put out a fascinating report that surveyed women on a range of issues. The entire report is a must-read, but notable to me were their findings about the country’s “inclusive government” — which, by the way, most respondents seem to feel marginalizes the opposition. In fact, fully 74% of them said Robert Mugabe has all the power in the arrangement.
“For example, 70% of women felt that women’s interests were not represented in Zimbabwe’s supposedly inclusive government. Another 80% of women declared that their lives had not changed much for the better since the the government was formed. What’s more, apart from questions of food security, health and education, a majority of women expressed little trust in the ability of Zimbabwe’s “inclusive government” to deliver on a wider range of issues.
“And finally, when asked about which political party they favored, 35% of women weren’t willing to respond, or said that they don’t actually support any party at all.
“In a country where a woman’s — and her husband’s — political views were grounds for rape in pre-election intimidation campaigns, perhaps none of these findings should be very surprising. Although the survey does not interrogate the link between rape campaigns and women’s feelings on politics, the numbers suggest that sexual violence turns out to be a pretty successful way of keeping women from engaging with politics.”