Agency and Capabilities: Rethinking Zimbabwean Women’s Participation in Politics

Gladys Balance

Abstract


The paper acknowledges the role of international, Regional and Local instruments towards the social justices system that embraces women’s participation in politics. Despite the inherent nature of the domesticated gender equality policies, Zimbabwean women still lag behind. The country has failed to reach a critical mass from 1980 to 2018. As a phenomenological study, the research adopted a qualitative paradigm to purposively profile the experiences and achievements of women who broke the ‘glass ceilings’ to participate in the masculinized political domain. The sample constituted of selected members of parliament. Importantly the study focused on women’s political lived experiences. Findings revealed that despite making it to the political realm women were faced with a masculinist culture reinforced by internal political cultures and deep seated structures that denies the acceptance of women as capable political leaders. The paper reflected on the country’s political system of incremental change and concluded that even when women have been mainstreamed into politics; men continue to defend and protect their political status quo. Men have denigrating views about women in politics as a result women find themselves playing right into the hands of patriarchal domination. Recognition and manipulation of women’s capabilities and agency were adapted into the study as normative prescriptions; this study recommended the use of these variables to articulate how, individual and collective women’s visibility in the political realm can be enhanced. The study also touches on the significant value of women’s organizations as platforms for sharing political knowledge amongst candidates as well as potential political actors. The said women’s organizations were found to be valuable for the support base they offer through lobbying, advocacy and awareness campaigns for gender sensitive policies and gender mainstreaming into politics. The importance of organizations therefore links women to their political constituencies. Lastly the study recommends attitude changes as a way of embracing female political participation. 


Full Text:

PDF

References


Accountability UNIFEM, New York.

Alkire, S. (1999) Operationalising Amartya Sen’s Capability Approach to Human Development a framework for identity valuable capabilities. Oxford: Oxford University.

Arnstein, S. R. (1969). A ladder of citizen participation. Journal of the American Planning Association, 35(4), 216-224. https://doi.org/10.1080/01944366908977225

Aviel, J. F (1981). Political Participation of Women in Latin America. https://doi.org/10.2307/447897

Aviel, J. F. (1981). Political participation of women in Latin America. Political Research Quarterly, 34(1), 56-173. https://doi.org/10.1177/106591298103400113

Bourdillion, M. F. C. (1976). The Shona People: Ethnography of the Contemporary Shona People. Harare: Zambezia, University of Zimbabwe.

Boyer, P. (2001) Cultural Assimilation- an overview. https://doi.org/10.1016/B0-08-043076-7/00364-8

Butaumocho, R. (2017) Gender Columnist Zimbabwe Herald News Paper 2017. https://www.pressreader.com>2017

Chiroro, B. (2005). Persistent Inequalities: Women and Electoral Politics in Zimbabwe Elections in 2005. Journal of African Elections, 4(2), October 2005. https://doi.org/10.20940/JAE/2005/v4i2a6

Creswell, J. (1998). Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design. Choosing Among Five traditions. CA: Thousand Oaks.

Creswell, J. W. (2007). Qualitative inquiry and research (2nd ed.). CA: Thousand Oaks.

Dongo, M. (undated). ‘Margaret Dongo’. Available at: http://www .margaretdongo.com/bio-margaret-dongo/ (Accessed, 15 June 2015).

Gaidzanwa, R. (2011). Women and Land in Zimbabwe Paper presented at the Conference “Why women matter in agriculture” Sweden, April 4-8, 2011.

Harding, S. G. (1991). Re-thinking stand point Epistemology. What is Strong Objectivity? Feminist (Eds). Landli A. and Potter, E. New York: Routledge.

Hood, T. (2014). Descriptive vs Substantive Representation [online] available: https://prezi.com/wycq8emoqkjp/descriptive-vs substantive-representation/

Hoog, M. A., & Knippenberg, D. (2003). Social Identity and Leadership Processes in Group. in (Eds) M.P. Zanna. Advances in experimental social psychology. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0065-2601(03)01001-3

Longwe, S. (2002). Gender Aware: The missing element in the Third World Development Project, in Wallace, T Changing Perceptions: Writings on Gender and Development. Oxford: Oxfam.

Markham, S. (2013). Women as Agents of Change: Having Voices in Society and Influencing Policy. Research Series 2013 No. 5 Gender Equality and Development. World Bank: National Democratic Institute.

Matshalaga, N. (2013). ‘UN Women (2014): Gender Mainstreaming in Development Programming’. New York.

McNay, L. (2005). Gender and Agency: Reconfiguring the Subject in Feminist and Social Theory. https://philpapers.org/rec/MCNGAA

Muyakayaka –Manzini (1998). in Karam, A (1998) Women in Parliament Beyond Numbers. International Institute for Democracy and Democracy and Electoral .Assistance. Stockholm

Narchinas, C., & Narchinas, D. (1996). Research methods in the social sciences. Great Britain: St Martin’s Press.

Nguyen, T. H. (2011). Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, "Measures to enhance the role of women in sustainable development", www.molisa.gov.vn. In 2014, the number of members of the Politburo increases compared to 2011 due to additional election.

Noor, K. A. (2016). Women’s Engagement in Politics Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Pillar. https://doi.org/10.5339/qfarc.2016.SSHASP2414

Noor, K. T. (2016). Women’s Engagement in Politics Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Pillar. https://doi.org/10.5339/qfarc.2016.SSHASP2414

Nordic Gender Equality in Figures 2015 ANP 2015: Nordic Council of Ministers 733 http://dx.doi.org/10.6027/. Nordic Council of Ministers 2015.

Nussbaum, M. (2005). Beyond the social contract: capabilities and global justice in G. Brock, & H. Brighouse (Eds.). The political philosophy of cosmopolitanism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Obrien, D. Z. (2015). Rising to the top: Gender, Political Performance, and Party Leadership in Parliamentary Democracies. https://www.jstor.org/stable/24582963 page count: 18.

Odimba, J. (1997) in Ogunyankin, G.A. (2014) “Spare Tires,” “Second Fiddle,” and Prostitutes”? Interrogating Discources about Women and Politics in Nigeria. Otawa: Institute of African Studies. Carlton Unversity.

Papart, D. (1987). Re-Thinking Empowerment, Gender and Develop Introduction. London: Routledge.

Reuters. (2014). ‘Robert Mugabe accuses Joyce Mujuru of plot to unseat him’. The Telegraph, London, 3 December, 2014. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/af ricaandindianocean/zimbabwe/11270202/Robert-Mugabe-Participation of Women in Zimbabwean Politics … 158 accuses-Joice-Mujuru-of-plot-to-unseat-him.html (Accessed, 6 June 2015).

Robeyns, I. (2017). Wellbeing, Freedom and Social Justice: The Capability Approach Re-Examined. Cambridge, UK: Open Book Publishers. https://doi.org/10.11647/OBP.0130

SADC (2008). ‘SADC protocol on gender and development’. Available at: http://www.sadc.int/files/8713/5292/8364/Prot ocol_on_Gender_and_Development_2008.pdf (Accessed, 22 June, 2015).

Sater, J. N. (2012). Reserved seats, patriarchy, and patronage in Morocco. The Impact of Gender Quotas (Eds). Susan Franceschet, Mona Lena Krook, and Jennifer M. Piscopo. New York: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199830091.003.0005

Schwindt-Bayer, L. A. (2006). Still Supermadres? Gender and the Policy Priorities of Latin American Legislators. American Journal of Political Science, 50(3), 570-85. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-5907.2006.00202.x

Sen, A. (1992). Inequality Re-examined, Oxford: Clarendon Press. Oxford.

Sen, A. (1992). Inequality Re-examined. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Sen, A. (1999). Development as Freedom. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Sen, A. (2003). Missing Women — revisited. British Medical Journal, 327(7427), 1297-98. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7427.1297

Sen, A. (2009). The Idea of Justice. Affairs, Gender and Community Development. London: Allen Lane. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctvjnrv7n

Shalaby, M. (2015). “Women’s Political Representation in Kuwait: An Untold Story.” Report. (Eds) James, A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy. Rice University.

Shevdova, M. (1998). Obstacles to Women’s participation in Parliaments In Karam, A. (1998) Women in Parliament: Beyond Numbers. Stockholm: The International Institute For Democracy and Electoral Assistance.

Thi, N. N. (2015). Ongoing Implementation of Social Equality for Women in Current Vietnam. Journal Communist Party of Vietnam, 89(5 – 2014), 49-54.

Tripp, A, M., & Kang, A. (2008). The Global Impact of Quotas: On the Fast Track to Increased Female Legislative Representation. Comparative Political Studies, 41, 338-61. https://doi.org/10.1177/0010414006297342

Tripp, A. M. (2005). “Legislative Quotas for Women: Implications for Governance in Africa.” African Parliaments: Between Government and Governance, (Eds). Mohamed A. Salih. Houndsmills. Basingstoke: Palgrave. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781403979308_3

UNECA/A Fifteen- Year Review of the Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action in Africa (BPFA) +15 Main Report From 1995-2009

UNIFEM (2008) Progress of Women’s Report 2008/09: Who Answers to Women? Gender an United Nations (1993) Common Threads and the Modern World. Oxford. Bridgehead.

Zimabwe National Gender Policy-2013-2017. The Republic of Zimbabwe Ministry of Women.

Zimbabwe National Gender Policy. (2004). Harare: Ministry of Gender and community Development.

Zimbabwe's Constitution of 2013. The Republic of Zimbabwe.

Zimeye (2013). Zimbabwer : ‘Fury as Mugabe assaults women’ Available at: https//www.zimeye.com/fury-as-mugabe-assults-women/(accessed 17 July 2015)




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jpag.v9i3.15347

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Journal of Public Administration and Governance  ISSN 2161-7104

Copyright © Macrothink Institute

'Macrothink Institute' is a trademark of Macrothink Institute, Inc.

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'macrothink.org' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.