Introduction and Background

Despite women constituting 52% of the demographic population of Zimbabwe and being the majority of voters (53%), they remain marginalised from the Political playing field. The Constitution of Zimbabwe contains elaborate provisions on gender equality enshrined in Sections 17, 56 and 80 yet women constitute only 31.5% of the National Assembly and 13.3% of Local Government Councillors.

Women in Zimbabwe want to participate in politics at different levels, however, a number of persistent barriers still exist limiting their full and effective participation in politics and decision making. Some of the persistent barriers hindering women’s participation include;

  • Lack of confidence to join politics
  • Inadequate political networks
  • Low access to information
  • Lack of faith in political process
  • Lack of motivation
  • Lack of resources/finances for campaigning.
  • Negative Portrayal by the media
  • Violence, including hate speech, cyber bullying, and physical and sexual violence


The Women Rise in Politics Initiative

Training and mentorship has been identified as one of the programmatic interventions for increasing women’s representation in politics and decision-making. To this end, the Zimbabwe Gender Commission in partnership with UN Women and other stakeholders have initiated the Women Rise in Politics Initiative which is a Training and Mentorship Programme for aspiring women candidates. The objectives of the Women Rise in Politics Initiative are to;

  • Create a large pool of women candidates who are ready to contest for elective posts in the 2023 harmonised elections and beyond;
  • Provide knowledge, skills, and competencies that will enable aspiring women candidates to effectively participate in political decision-making positions;
  • Increase representation and participation of women in politics;
  • Change the perceptions of gender and leadership effectiveness; and
  • Ensure more inclusive and gender-responsive electoral processes.


Format of the Women Rise in Politics Initiative

The Training and Mentorship Programme has been carefully designed in a two-pronged approach i.e through Training and Mentorship.

a) Training – The trainees who would have qualified for the programme will undergo an extensive training programme in order to impart knowledge and skills that would enable them to competently stand for office.

 b) Mentorship –The candidates for the programme will also undergo a mentorship programme where identified Role models who are either former or incumbent political leaders shall provide further guidance to the trainees in terms of practical application of the acquired knowledge.


Expected Outcome

The training and mentorship programme is expected to contribute significantly to the achievement of 50/50 representation or gender balance in Political Decision making in accordance with Section 17 of the Constitution. Further, the programme is expected to improve self-esteem and confidence for aspiring women political candidates.


How to enrol for the Women Political Training and Mentorship Programme.

Interested aspiring female political candidates are encouraged to download the registration form on this link  and send it to the email address: mentorship@zgc.co.zw or any nearest ZGC office by 22 August 2021. The selection of aspiring candidates to the programme shall be through the following criteria:

  • Minimum age 18 years
  • No previous political leadership experience
  • Ensuring a diverse cohort in terms of age, in particular young women (80% Ensuring a diverse cohort in terms of age, in particular young women (80% 35 years old), women with disabilities (5%), and women living with HIV/AIDS (1%). •
  • The motivational letter must indicate an actual intention of standing for elections
  • The reference letter should be from anyone who can testify to the character of the applicant

For more information, get in touch with the Commission on 0719554473 (Harare) and 0719554462/0773719551 (Bulawayo)


Email the filled form to : mentorship@zgc.co.zw  by 22 August 2021.