THE Women Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCOZ) has intensified its campaign for more women to participate in political processes.

This was revealed at a WCOZ public meeting in Mutare recently, which sought to raise awareness on section 56 of the Constitution and discuss the 50/50 agenda.

WCOZ Manicaland provincial vice-chairperson Caroline Mupota said they realised that most women shunned politics for fear of being labelled “prostitutes” and because of the culture of brute force and violence associated with the country’s politics.

“In 2020, we have programmes in which we will be encouraging women to take part in the 2023 elections. We are very aware that most women don’t like to take part in politics because they think they are not strong enough to match their male counterparts,” she said.

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“So as an organisation, we will be teaching women how to match their male counterparts and the approach they use to get into politics. We are very aware that women fear to be labelled prostitutes in politics.”

Mupota urged women to pursue education and equip themselves for national leadership roles.

“As women, we should have qualifications. Let’s go to school and equip ourselves by reading… let’s read newspapers and know what is happening in our society,” she said.

Mutare MDC-Alliance councillor for ward 16, Sekai Mukodza said: “I was labelled a prostitute when I was campaigning in my ward. These are such things women fear because they want to protect their marriages.

“So I am happy with WCOZ for introducing workshops to raise awareness on challenges that can be faced by women in the country.”

In a separate interview, Zanu PF MP for Mutasa North Chido Madiwa said: “Government is putting a lot of efforts to empower women, but we are still behind, we still need a lot of women who will drive the country’s economy. We have few women accessing finances in as much as we have the Women’s Bank.

“Yes, women should also be in politics. There is nothing wrong with women going into politics. We are equal with men, so women should contribute in Parliament. We should take leadership roles in business.”