The media has been urged to highlight and cover issues by women parliamentarians in a positive manner in order to encourage development.

The president of the Senate Cde Edna Madzongwe has urged the media to cover female legislators in a positive manner as most of them focus on development issues.

Addressing parliamentarians and the public in the chambers during the official opening of the parliament open day  in Harare this week, Cde Madzongwe said the media should focus on how female parliamentarians are running projects within their constituencies as a way of alleviating poverty in society.

“Women’s representation has improved with each parliament considering that at its inception in 1924 there was only one female parliamentarian (Ethel Tawsey Jolly). In 1980 women representation grew to about 8.5 percent and in the period 1985-1990 it increased to 10 percent while from 1990-1995 it shot to 11.3 percent. From 1995-2000 it rose to 14.6 percent. The period 2000-2005 saw a reduction in the figure to 10.6 percent while from 2005-2007 it experienced an increase to about 21.7 percent. The only disappointing period being 2008-2013 which recorded a decline of 18.2 percent,” said Cde Madzongwe.

She, however, challenged female parliamentarians to voice their concerns in parliament by actively participating in a number of debates using their local languages.