Maputo – The prominent Mozambican civil society body, the Institute for Multiparty Democracy (IMD), through the Women’s Political Academy, has demanded greater inclusion of women as candidates on the lists for the next municipal and general elections.
The request was expressed on Tuesday, in Maputo, by an IMD representative, Lorena Mazive, during a round table on the theme “Towards elections from a gender perspective: opportunities and challenges”.
According to Mazive, the objective is to widen the political space for women in the context of municipal elections, towards gender parity.
“In the studies conducted by the academy, we understand and conclude that in the lists of political parties, women occupy the last positions. We divide the lists into four parts and women are placed in the last two parts. This scenario must change,” Mazive said.
“If we as a society do indeed want women to be represented in these elected government institutions, aware of effective governance, if we want quality democracy, that only happens when it is inclusive and participatory. Therefore, the presence of women is essential to be able to respect the human rights of this group,” she stressed.
According to the IMD representative, 42.3% of deputies in the current Mozambican parliament are women – which is very positive compared to the previous parliament where only 37% of deputies were women. Nevertheless, she insisted on the need for gender parity, as it exists in the Mozambican government, where 50% of the members are men and 50% are women.
For her part, Ana Rita Sithole, a member of the Standing Committee of the country’s parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, said that despite their under-representation, “those who lead the campaigns are women. We say we don’t. appear prominently, but from one legislature to another, we want to increase our number.”
Sithole said the concern is also in the localities, where the gender issue is affected by socio-cultural aspects.
“We are an African country where the role of community activities and traditional leadership still has a great influence. There are areas where it is possible to see that women, to rise to certain levels, still have this problem, do still facing this difficulty, but they are fighting. The best way for them to fight is to study, and it is seen that they have a higher ability to argue, fight and present themselves as the most fit to be elected,” she said.