ZIMBABWE – There has been little progress for women to celebrate since independence. In fact, the current statistics on women’s representation in the Zimbabwean government are pretty shocking: while women make up a huge population of voters.
There seems to not only be an absence of female leadership, but some discouraging trends, like the percentage of women against the rise of other women such as Dr Grace Mugabe and Mai Mujuru, actually this trend is going up.
We need more influential women – political leaders, business executives, publishers and thinkers. Both women and men must do more to get more women into the pipeline of political leadership. Even if Grace or Joyce lose the election, the campaign to build a momentum would have been won, because even by running both women would have asserted their strength and authority.
By taking part in the presidential race both women will help crack the ‘marble ceiling,’ which has largely kept women from the halls of power for years. But one or two women can’t do it all.
Women have to help women: to run for higher office, to succeed in business, and to excel. There’s nothing more powerful than someone who has succeeded reaching back to lift up the next generation.
I hope that women will help each other make history and progress. I sincerely hope that women will lead progress on all issues facing our country, because every single issue is a ‘women’s issue:’ from the security of our country, to its economy, to prosperity of our families and that of the world. As I have said it before, women will always bring a unique perspective to debates over policy. And as I understand it, one of the challenges is getting these two women to want to run for office.
Both Grace and Joyce need more encouragement. And I say to both women and others stay engaged at whatever level, and ask you to fully participate, run for office if you so wish. You have the tenacity, have the drive, and can raise the funds. So I think we need you to come to the table, because we need your thoughts, views and guidance on these very important decisions that our country is making regarding the way forward.
I think the most important message for women is that they can do it. That this is something that they can do, you can find a way to balance your differences so that you can both be part of the decision-making fabric of this country and still be good mothers.