Empowerment and Capacity Enhancement
The Empowerment and Capacity Building are key engagements undertaken by WIPSU to provide direct support for women in elected public office through various capacity enhancement workshops and strengthening women’s leadership skills in a broad range of sectorial spaces.
The empowerment and capacity enhancement support is buffered by a Community Effectiveness Programme (CEP) which seeks to engage women directly and men indirectly in engaging with their female elected officials both at constituency and ward level. These platforms provide elected leadership with opportunities and processes to engage with their constituents to ensure that their leadership is driven by their engagements with the communities they represent. In turn communities have an opportunity to engage and observe their leadership at work.
In order to facilitate both effective leadership by the elected female officials and the communities the engagement above are supported by Technical Support such as research, legal and policy analysis etc to support the effectiveness of female MP’s, Councilors and political actors.
Information, Campaigns, and Advocacy
This program aims to facilitate an enabling environment for women’s rights to participate in politics and in the development agenda. WiPSU flagship being the 50-50, Vote for a Women Campaign in which we have trying to put pressure on political parties to ensure 50% representation of women in Parliament.
Our preliminary assessment is that while the public are very receptive to women candidates (or at least not prejudiced) this is not the case within the political parties where women’s position is generally quite precarious. It is worth remarking that in the most recent 2013 election 86 women were voted into the House of Assembly out of 270 seats and 37 out of seats 80 in the Senate.
Women might have been more successful had the participating political parties especially the winning opposition party fielded more women candidates. It is also a matter of concern that women MPs representing rural constituencies is very low which means that rural women are particularly badly represented in Parliament.
The aim of this program is also to focus on raising issues in the media and ensure that women’s political participation is kept on the public agenda, to support other programmes as a tool for learning, raise awareness and dialogue for both women and the general public.
Research, Analysis and Documentation
Training, Bill and Policy Analysis and Research is critical aspect to supporting women in their candidature, elected office, political office and activism. As a result, the positioning of women in terms of political parties, Parliamentary and local government engagements, governance and communities is facilitated and traced through this aspect of WiPSU work. The results provide both qualitative and quantitative analysis of women at work in parliament and local government.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Monitoring and Evaluating our engagements and those of women in political engagement in Zimbabwe is a critical aspect of our work as it guide lessons learnt, what works and what doesn’t work, providing information on political and policy trends that impact on women representation and participation for the betterment of women. The evaluation processesfacilitate learning within the organization and documenting successes, impact and relevance of women’s’ work in a space where women work is persistently undervalued, marginalised and ignored.
What we do
- Technical support to women representatives and women candidates to political office.
- Create platforms for dialogue between women representatives and grassroots communities.
- Lobby and advocate for the increased qualitative and quantitative participation of women in political spaces in Zimbabwe.
- Policy research and engagement
- Create and nurture a feminist agenda in women’s political engagement