Zimbabwe: Women’s Mass Movement and Violence

  • Rudo B. Gaidzanwa
Part of the Gender and Politics book series (GAP)


Zimbabwe adopted a proportional representation electoral system for its bicameral parliament after gaining independence in 1980. It later replaced it with an executive presidential system and a unicameral parliament in 1987. Both systems failed to produce a gender-balanced legislature. Zimbabwe ratified the CEDAW and adopted the SADC Gender Protocol in 1991. Zimbabwean women comprised 36% in the legislature—47.5% in the Senate and 28% in the influential House of Assembly by 2013. Gaidzanwa argues that women’s representation is likely to decline despite ten years of affirmative action to allocate 60 seats to women in the House of Assembly. More needs to be done to achieve gender equity in political representation in Zimbabwe.


  1. Abdullah, H. 1995. Wifeism and Activism: The Nigerian Women’s Movement. In The Challenges of Local Feminism: Women’s Movements in Global Perspective, ed. A. Basu and McGrory, 209–225. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  2. Cheater, A.P. 1986. The Role and Position of Women in Pre-colonial Zimbabwe. In Zambezia XIII (ii): 65–79.Google Scholar
  3. Clarke, M., and P. Nyathi. 2012. Lozikeyi Dlodlo: Queen of the Ndebele. Bulawayo: Amagugu Publishers.Google Scholar
  4. Dube, R. 2013. Parliamentary Performance and Gender. Harare: RAU.Google Scholar
  5. Gaidzanwa, R.B. 1998. Gender Policy in the Public Sector. In Zimbabwe Post-independence Public Administration: Management Policy Issues and Constraints, ed. S. Agere, 247–267. Dakar: CODESRIA.Google Scholar
  6. Gaidzanwa, R.B. 2013. Beyond Income: Gendered Well-Being and Poverty in Zimbabwe. In Moving Zimbabwe Forward: Understanding Poverty, Promoting Well-Being and Sustainable Development in Zimbabwe. Harare: Institute of Environmental Studies. University of Zimbabwe.Google Scholar
  7. Holm, G. WLSA/DANIDA. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 1994: 36.Google Scholar
  8. Human Rights Watch. 2011. Perpetual Fear, Impunity and Cycles of Violence in Zimbabwe. New York, NY: HRW.Google Scholar
  9. Nhongo-Simbanegavi, J. 2000. For Better or Worse? Women and ZANLA in Zimbabwe’s Liberation Struggle. Oxford: African Book Collective.Google Scholar
  10. Towns, A.H. 2012. Norms and Social Hierarchies: Understanding International Policy Diffusion ‘From Below’. International Organisations 66 (2): 179–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. WIPSU: Women in Parliament Support Unit. Women in the 7th Parliament: Current Position of Zimbabwean Women in Politics, Harare, 2013.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rudo B. Gaidzanwa
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ZimbabweHarareZimbabwe

Personalised recommendations