ZCP speaks out against objectification of women in politics

The Zimbabwe Communist Party (ZCP) in concerned about the objectification of women and their bodies at political events, stating such is ‘not a joke’ but should be taken seriously as it contributes to gender inequalities.

According to ZCP General Secretary, Nicholas Ngqabutho Mabhena, it is these gender inequalities that further diminish women’s participation in politics and contributes to negative stereotypes

His comments come after a woman known as ‘Mai Welly’ danced at a recent Zanu PF gathering, in the process showcasing her posterior, and was later rewarded with a car plus US$2 000 by Wicknell Chivayo.

After the clip of the woman dancing went viral, some commentators defended her actions, while others argued it reinforced stereotypes of women as ‘mere entertainers’ who later receive payment for their services.

The ZCP General Secretary weighed in on the issue, saying the objectification of women in political gatherings was ‘real,’ having political and unintentional consequences for other women.

“One of the main characteristics of the patriarchal society we have is the objectification of women’s bodies, where women are seen as objects and tools to be used to please men. It’s sad that political gatherings don’t discuss the competence, capacity and skills of their women members but parades them,” Mabhena said.

Mabhena acknowledged that mass political movements like Zanu PF have mobilised women in society into their support base and established the women’s league to boost their programmes.
However, he considered some behaviours as “diminishing and not proper empowerment.”

“What we have seen in Zanu PF is that women are not necessarily mobilised to participate in political and economic programmes but they are mobilised to sing and dance for the president,” claimed the ZCP official. 

“Since 1980, we have seen whenever the President or then Prime Minister would be departing or arriving at the airport, structures of Zanu PF including the women’s league would be mobilised to go sing for the President.” 

The general secretary added that society has also observed how some of these women dance provocatively. 

“We have also seen, particularly recently, where some women are practising some funny dance to please the political elite in Zanu PF,” Mabhena claimed. 

He argued such “behaviours and careless attitude” portrayed by party members demonstrated that Zanu PF is not a revolutionary party because it does not seek to change the material conditions of women in Zimbabwe and the entire society.

“Zanu PF sees women as objects that should dance at the airport and rallies. Doing funny dances for that matter,” he claimed. 

“What do young people, especially young girls learn from this? The only lesson for them is that as you grow up, you need to be part of those women where day in, day out, you will be singing for the president.”

Mabhena added that such behaviours were also seen in young men who were now worshipping other men with money.

“Instead of the government creating an environment where young people seek to work honestly and produce goods, they are now reduced to money worshippers in order to make money,” he said.

The general secretary said the ZCP condemned the behaviour exhibited at the recent Zanu PF gathering, claiming instead of uplifting women somehow, the party provided a platform for them to flaunt their bodies. 

“At ZCP and at this stage of our revolution, we have no women’s league because we believe women are not different from men. In this economy, women are not different from men in terms of class. The only difference between men and women is their reproductive organs. Otherwise men and women belong to the same class,” Mabhena said.

“The majority of women in Zimbabwe are victims of the looting class led by Zanu PF, so men and women are together engaged in a struggle to make sure that the economy of Zimbabwe is in the hands of the majority of the people to  make sure that women participate fully in the reconstruction of our economy.”

Mabhena said in terms of addressing social class inequalities, the ZCP was engaged in class strategy that made women and the men equal.

“There is no reason whatsoever for women to spend time in the Zanu PF branch meetings practising songs and dances, which they will perform in front of the president, be it in their rallies or at the airport,” Mabhena said, adding that a government led by ZCP would do away with such practices.

“All of us must be at work to rebuild our economy. The president under the leadership of the ZCP will not be welcomed by women or by anyone for that matter, other than his or her security detail at the airport. So we condemn this action to continue using women in Zanu PF and in other political formations as objects.”

Meanwhile, on his X account, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, and government spokesperson, Nick Mangwana wrote: “Hundreds of thousands of people twerk and some of you drool over them. why are you catching feelings with this lady? Sit down.”

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