Take up lead­er­ship roles, fe­male leg­is­la­tors urged

The Manica Post - - Feature / Opinion - Wim­bainashe Zhakata Post Cor­re­spon­dent

THE lead­er­ship gap that ex­ists between women and men in na­tional gov­er­nance must be ad­dressed, the Pres­i­dent of the Se­nate has said.

While ad­dress­ing 50 new fe­male leg­is­la­tors at the Par­lia­ment of Zim­babwe Women Par­lia­men­tary Cau­cus in­duc­tion work­shop in Mutare re­cently, Cde Mar­ble Chi­nomona said women should take up lead­er­ship roles.

The four day work­shop's ob­jec­tives were fa­mil­iarise the mem­bers of the roles and func­tions of par­lia­ment, to clar­ify the pro­ce­dures for pre­sen­ta­tion of mo­tions and rules and to con­sci­en­tise mem­bers on the Par­lia­men­tary diplo­macy to en­hance pro­fes­sion­al­ism.

Ac­cord­ing to the In­ter-Par­lia­men­tary Union (IPU) re­port of 2018, said Cde Chi­nomona, de­spite im­pres­sive im­prove­ments in the area of ed­u­ca­tion and the work­place over 50 years , men con­tinue to out­num­ber women in lead­er­ship es­pe­cially in top po­si­tions. She said in or­der to curb the lim­ited num­ber of women in Par­lia­ment they should learn to up­lift and vote for each other as well as de­part from mis­con­cep­tions about lead­er­ship which in­clude gen­der stereo­types.

"A num­ber of fac­tors ex­plain­ing this sce­nario in­clude gen­der stereo­types no­tions that lead­er­ship is in­her­ently for men and that lead­er­ship is in­fused with mas­cu­line traits of ag­gres­sion, de­ci­sive­ness, will­ing­ness to en­gage in con­flict and power which should be ur­gently changed," she said.

To re­strain from gen­der stereo­typ­ing, Cde Chi­nomona said the role of women leg­is­la­tors in Par­lia­ment was to en­sure that all poli­cies and laws are di­rected not only at pro­tect­ing women's rights, but at pro­mot­ing women rep­re­sen­ta­tion at de­ci­sion mak­ing level.

She en­cour­aged women in Par­lia­ment to strengthen their lead­er­ship qual­i­ties since they have bet­ter lead­er­ship qual­i­ties than men.

“The lead­er­ship traits in you should be fur­ther rein­vig­o­rated and strength­ened. In fact, stud­ies have re­vealed that women have bet­ter lead­er­ship qual­i­ties than men.

"In 2012, Har­vard Busi­ness Re­view re­search found that women lead­ers out­ranked male lead­ers in nearly ev­ery one of the 16 lead­er­ship com­pe­ten­cies in­clud­ing tak­ing ini­tia­tives and driv­ing for re­sults.

Hence women have po­ten­tial and they can do it," said Cde Chi­nomona. The new fe­male mem­bers of Par­lia­ment were also urged to create and nur­ture a good re­la­tion­ship with the me­dia since the me­dia is there to am­plify their voices.

Dur­ing the work­shop, new Par­lia­men­tar­i­ans were en­light­ened on is­sues to do with dis­ci­pline, eti­quette rules, the con­sti­tu­tion, dress code and deco­rum among oth­ers.

Cde Mar­ble Chi­nomona

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