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ZWLA:WHAT WOMEN WANT IN A NEW CONSTITUTION

A reminder- lest we forget

As the drafting of the new constitution reaches a conclusion and we gear up for the referendum, Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association encourages you to support women's demands in the new constitution.

 

These demands are as follows:

 

1. Equality and Non Discrimination

Women want all forms of discrimination against them to be eliminated.   Some of the grounds for non discrimination include but are not limited to sex, gender, marital status, pregnancy, HIV and AIDS, disability and age and colour.

 

2.   Customary laws should not go against the Bill of rights

Customary laws should not be used to discriminate against women.   Customary laws should conform to the Bill of rights.

 

3.   Protection of Socio - Economic Rights

Women want the constitution to provide socio - economic rights which are enforceable   (justiciable).   These rights should include but not limited to

The right to education including adult education.

The right to healthcare, food water and social security.

The right to housing

The right to a healthy environment

The right to employment and fair labour standards.

 

4.   Recognition of Children's Rights

Women want the Constitution to make specific reference to children and provide for their   rights.   The range of rights that children should have include include:-

Right to nutrition, food, shelter and health.

Right to parental / family care

The right to an identity

The right to be protected from abuse, maltreatment and neglect.

A child should be any person below the age of 18 years.

 

5.   50/50 Representation

Women want to be equally represented in all decision making bodies in line with the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development.   Women want a 50% representation in all   decision making bodies and commissions.

 

6   Proportional Representation

Women want an electoral system that enables their participation that is proportional representation or a mixture of this with the First Past the Post System.

 

7. Right to security of the person and protection from gender based violence

Women want to be protected from all forms of gender based violence in both the public and private sector that is at home, work, community, etc.

Women want the right to physical and psychological integrity to be protected.

 

8. Gender commission

Women want a specific Gender Commission, whose function will be to promote gender equality.   It will have the power to educate, research, monitor, lobby and advise on gender equality.

 

9. Citizenship

Women want to be recognized as full citizens who have equal rights with men in a new Constitution. Women want the right equal citizenship to be able to pass citizenship to their children and spouses.

 

10. Domestication of International Human Rights Instruments

International human rights instruments must automatically be applicable as law in Zimbabwe upon ratification.

 

11. Access to resources

The Constitution should provide for gender budgeting and gender sensitive public financing.

Women want equal access to land and other resources and title should be available to all land tenure systems irrespective of marital status

 

12. Recognition of the role of women in The Preamble and founding principles

The Preamble of the Constitution needs to underscore the role played by women in Zimbabwean society especially during the liberation struggle and in the fight for democracy.

 

13. Affirmative Action

The constitution must provide for affirmative action to address past imbalances on gender inequalities.

 

14. Promotion of Democracy and good governance

Women realize that their rights can only be enjoyed within the context of a constitution that promotes democracy and good governance.   Women want a Constitution that upholds the following principles:

·                 Constitutional Supremacy

·                 Separation of powers

·                 The Rule of Law

·                 Independence of the Judiciary

 

Women of Zimbabwe Unite and Protect your rights. Make your voice be heard.

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