2023 is a decisive year in Zimbabwe – not only for Hivos’ work to empower women – but this August Zimbabwe is holding its Harmonized Elections (parliamentary, provincial, local and presidential elections). It is a time that offers opportunities for women in politics to step up and be recognized as leaders.
Our three women’s empowerment programs in Southern Africa focus on strengthening and amplifying the voices and participation of women and youth at all levels of political and civic life. These projects are Women and Youth Inclusion for Equality (WYI4E), Women and Youth Leadership and Participation (WYLP), and Women’s Voices Matter (WVM).
Training for the elections
This June, through WYLP and our partner the Zimbabwe Gender Commission, we trained women in Bulawayo and Kwekwe to run as candidates in the 2023 Harmonized Elections. WYLP is funded by the European Union delegation in Zimbabwe and the Embassy of Ireland in Pretoria.
The training took some of the women who will be standing for election through processes such as nomination court selections, campaign financing, and voter engagement. Attended by both established politicians and first-time candidates, the training revealed how challenging contesting an election can be.
Advice from a winner
Sharing her journey, Honorable Priscilla Moyo, a current Member of Parliament for Mwenezi West, said that she had failed a few times until she finally won. “In 2013, I came in fourth and almost lost confidence that I could ever be elected. But in 2018, I won through determination. Build on your local networks to look for [campaign] funding, learn the needs of your community and serve them. This is how I got elected.”
Stories from across the country
Through our partners, we have learned how different women have been preparing for this year’s Harmonized Elections. In the Voices newsletter, you can read about all the work we have been doing to train women candidates and how it has resulted in a truly engaged base of women and youth in politics.
Download the June 2023 newsletter