The Parliament of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWLA) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in the capital paving way for mutual co-operation in the legislative agenda for ensuring there is 50-50 gender parity in line with the constitution.
Despite Zimbabwe being signatory to numerous regional and international human rights instruments women and girls continue to face a number of challenges in the socio, political and economic spheres owing to gender inequality and an unfair playing field.
In a bid to dislodge the obtaining status quo the Parliament of Zimbabwe and the ZWLA signed a memorandum of understanding for co-operation in the legislative agenda of ensuring there is gender parity and the harmonisation of laws which undermine women’s rights contrary to the constitution.
Speaker of the national assembly, Honourable Jacob Mudenda welcomed the partnership with the women lawyers’ association and encouraged them to be involved in politics ahead of the polls to enable them chances to be elected to posts so as to achieve the 50-50 gender parity objective.
Current chairperson of the ZWLA, Ms Phillipa Phillips said as an organisation they will be lobbying for the harmonisation of laws to promote the rights of women and children and they will also approach political parties to influence them to ensure their constitutions give women equal access to opportunities.
The signing of the MOU by the two bodies come as there are other collaborations between the parliament and other organisations which include Zimbabwe Women Resources Network and Women in Politics Support Unit, all of which work towards changing the narrative but however the existence of more like minded civil organisations has not translated to tangible results on the ground.