International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The Implications of the Quota System in Promoting Gender Equality in Zimbabwean Politics
Zungura Mervis, Eve. Z. Nyemba

This paper investigates the implications of quota systems in promoting gender equality in politics. Zimbabwe is a signatory to many declarations aimed at increasing women connexion in top decision making positions such as the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development of 1997, CEDAW 1979 and the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action. Quotas are assumed to be the undisputable way of a significant increase in women representation in politics. Evidence on the ground shows diminutive direct relationships between constitutional quota system and the promotion of gender equality in politics. The major questions this study attempts to answer are: is the constitutional quota system likely to promote/enhance gender equality in politics? Has the quota system received any political support from its inception in Zimbabwe? Has the violation of the quota system been enforced? What calibre of women politicians is produced by the quota system? Documentary evidence, in-depth interviews, key informant interviews and focus group discussions have shown that violence against women in parliament and during campaigns, cultural, socio-economic values and the media are amongst factors hindering women advancement in political positions. Legislation in a vacuum is unnecessary; there is need for the implementation of the quota system at both political party and societal levels. Quota systems should apply at constituency levels and violation of the system should be enforced by law.

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