Does Zimbabwe have a National dress? I visited my daughter’s school in May when they celebrated their belated Africa Day. They were encouraged to wear something African on that particular day. The moment I arrived at the parking bay I noted as Zimbabweans we have an identity crisis. The little boys and girls were dressed in different African attires mostly predicting the western and eastern Africa type of dressing. One would have mistaken the school at that particular time for a Nigerian school.
RAU conducted an online survey to establish young women's views on politics as we prepare for elections next year (2018) as a follow up to research conducted with groups of middle class women in 2016. This research is important as it contributes to the efforts by other organisations and movements to encourage women to participate more in national governance.
In 2016 we continued to work in accordance with our 2013 to 2022 strategic plan that includes the three programmatic areas: active citizenship, community security and influencing policy producing more than 20 reports, blogs and opinions pieces. In addition we adopted a new advocacy approach that focused more on on the dissemination of our research reports and advocacy activities to various stakeholders.
Citizenship is a complex issue to define, with both legal definitions and political definitions sometimes at odds with each other. Beginning with the groundbreaking work of T. H. Marshall in the immediate post-war period, scholars and commentators have wrestled with the nature of citizenship.
Women are under-represented in most if not all of Zimbabwe’s political institutions, irrespective of the fact that the Constitution, in sections 17 and 56 states that there should be equal representation. This current opinion piece discusses the problems and offers a range of solutions.
It i evident that Zimbabwe has a very large population of young people. The 2012 Census reports that 76% of Zimbabwe's population is under the age of 35 years, giving Zimbabwe an enormous "youth bulge". Youth bulges can be sources of increased economic prosperity, as in China for example, or soureces of instability as has been argued by a number of authorities.
It is conventionally assumed that the middle class will be the strongest defenders of democracy, and therefore it might be assumed that middle class women would be similarly so. However, this does not seem to be true for Zimbabwe where the middle class, and particularly young middle class women, seem disengaged from political life.