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Gendered Analysis of the Electoral Laws in Zimbabwe and Drafting of Memorandum of Principles to Inform Drafting of Model Gendered Electoral Law

Date Posted: 2020-02-28 06:41:07
Company Name Other
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    Mid Level
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Deadline: 24 January 2020

The promulgation of the 2013 Constitution in Zimbabwe saw women celebrate the inclusion of provisions on gender equality and women’s rights in the supreme law of the land. The 2013 Constitution espouses the values and principles of gender equality in international and in regional instruments ratified by Zimbabwe.

Women’s equal participation in decision-making is not only a demand for simple justice or democracy but can also be seen as a necessary condition for women’s interests to be taken into account. Without the active participation of women and the incorporation of women’s perspective at all levels of decision making, the goals of equality, development and peace cannot be achieved. Any society like Zimbabwe benefits from the increased representation of women in political parties and elected office. Women’s political presence can ensure that policy issues affecting women in particular are channelled into political debates, raise awareness about gender-based discrimination in all spheres of political and public life and enhance socio-economic development. The presence of women in political office, both elected and appointed, can increase the political system’s legitimacy and thus, public confidence in the system. As noted above, both male and female citizens believe that government is more democratic when more women are present in political institutions.

It should be noted however that despite the provisions in the 2013 Zimbabwe Constitution there is still a long way to go before gender parity in political representation becomes a reality in Zimbabwe, particularly for women who have been marginalized for long. Despite the gender equality clauses in the Constitution there has been an outcry from women who see no political will on the part of the powers-that-be to ensure that gender equality is realized, this is seen by the performance of women in general elections of 2013 and 2018. The numbers of elected women continue to drop with each election. It is the affirmative action measures which have continued to push the figures up.

The general elections continue to test the gender equality provisions of the Constitution and rapid assessment of the performance of most political parties and their representation in parliament clearly indicates that as a nation, we are still below the 50:50 threshold. The election of women competitively has been a challenge for the female candidates therefore for the constitution of Zimbabwe to be fully implemented in relation to gender equality principle there is need for electoral reforms to be made to create a conducive environment for Women’s political participation.

By the amendment of the Constitution of Zimbabwe in 2013 a temporary special measure to reach gender equality in National Assembly was introduced in Section 124 (1) (b). Sixty additional seats, allocated to women through proportional representation (PR), were established. Additional to this the election of Senators was amended in Section 120 (2) to utilise the PR system, together with each party having to list male and female candidates alternately (zebra listing), with a female as the first name. This means that Zimbabwe uses a hybrid electoral system since the remaining seats in the Parliament are divided through “first past the post” (FPTP). The quota provision for the National Assembly expires in 2023 and there is an ongoing debate on what should happen after that. On 22 October 2019 Cabinet approved principles to amend the Constitution and extend the quota beyond 2023. The Constitutional Amendment bill with a clause proposing to extend the quota for 4 terms instead of 2 terms was gazetted in the first week of January 2020.There have been mixed reactions from stakeholders which highlighted the need for synchronised efforts from women’s organisations regarding the way forward.

Objectives of Assignment
This paper will therefore: Conduct a comprehensive gender analysis of the current Electoral and proposed Legislation and proposed Constitutional Amendment including how that impacts women’s political participation; Identify existing gaps with the Constitution and gender mainstreaming principles - analyse the current electoral laws; conduct a gap analysis; identify clauses to be amended or alternatively propose changes to the legislation including for inclusion of the provisions on the extension of the special affirmative action measures and make other relevant recommendations; The analysis should be put within the context of a political – social -economic context analysis of Zimbabwe The research paper should set a framework for integrating gender equality into the electoral framework before zeroing in on the gender analysis of the proposed amendment and electoral framework.

Work/Educational Requirements

Required skills and experience
This assignment is open for individuals or teams. The assignment requires:

Education: Advanced degree in Law

Experience: Five (5) years relevant professional experience in Law, and Development Studies; Experience in Governance, Elections Research; Knowledge and understanding of political and gender equality context in Zimbabwe; Experience in Human Rights and similar work will be an added advantage

Duration of the assignment
The duration of the assignment is 15 days, as from 27th January 2020 - 21st of February.

Core Values: Respect for Diversity; Integrity; Professionalism.

Core Competencies: Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues; Accountability; Creative Problem Solving; Effective Communication; Inclusive Collaboration; Stakeholder Engagement; Leading by Example.

To Apply

To apply
Interested parties send a max 3 paged bid, CVs with motivation letter to email address with subject line, Gendered Analysis Of The Electoral Laws In Zimbabwe bid

Job Deadline : Expired

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