The story of Councillor Euthrasia Duro, 29, a first term Councillor in Redcliff Town Council representing Torwood is one of a young woman defying all odds to claim her place in the political space, which is largely male dominated.
Despite numerous challenges, Duro is determined to contest in the 2018 elections, thanks to WiPSU. “I would like to contest for a second term despite all the setbacks I have experienced. I would not even be considering running again if it were not for WiPSU, which has given me the confidence through its different platforms that have provided opportunities to learn through interacting with other female politicians,” she explains. Duro added “I feel that I have not fully implemented my plans for my ward. I also want to encourage other young women to participate in politics; not just by voting but also through standing for office”
Duro was expelled from her political party, the Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai (MDC-T) for demanding gender balance in the top positions in Council. She explains that she was merely calling on the party to account because it has a gender balance policy. Duro says the MDC-T’s unwillingness to to embracing gender equality made her decide to join the National People’s Party (NPP). She will contest the 2018 elections as an NPP) candidate. She emphasised the fact that she looks forward to participating in WiPSU’s candidates training workshops in order to strengthen her chances of retaining her seat.
Fighting for her place in the political space
Councillor Duro is by no means naive. She is fully aware of the huge challenges ahead. She is faced with sabotage from male Councillors from the MDC-T who have mobilised people to contest in her ward in the next elections. She says this is because they are not happy with the fact that she challenged her expulsion at the High Court and won the case, hence she is still a Councillor.
She laments the fact that young people are shut out of the political sphere. “I am turning 30 this year and I am considered as a youth. Political parties in Zimbabwe have not yet embraced the idea of opening space for youths, especially young women to contest for meaningful national positions; that is why they are trying by all means to push me out,” Duro said.
Duro is grateful for the support she has received from WiPSU, whose capacity building has made her realise that there is life after expulsion from a political party. She says her new party also has the quota system in place, and is hopeful that it will be implemented to allow for more female candidates to run for office.
Councillor Euthrasia Duro is determined to leave her mark in local Government. She is determined to stand up and be counted as a young Zimbabwean woman. She has resolved to claim her place in the political space.