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Zimbabwe launches Youth Caucus and new handbook

Parliament of Zimbabwe

Parliament of Zimbabwe

The Parliament of Zimbabwe has recently launched two initiatives to engage more youth and women in parliament.

A new voluntary Youth Caucus has been set up to spearhead the inclusion of youth-related issues in the legislative process. The goal is to advocate for youth development, empowerment, participation and representation across all spheres of life in Zimbabwe. Representatives in the Caucus are aged between 15 and 35 years. However, parliamentarians of any age are encouraged to advance youth issues.

Launching the Caucus in December 2022, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr. J.F.N Mudenda, encouraged young people to be adventurous, to use the opportunities that the Caucus presented, and to work hard to mainstream youth-related activities into parliamentary activities.

Both Mr. Mudenda and his counterpart, Ms. Mabel M. Chinomona, Speaker of the Senate, have recently signed up to the IPU’s I Say Yes to Youth in Parliament! campaign, which is designed to encourage more young people to participate in political life.

In another initiative, the Parliament of Zimbabwe has partnered with UN Women and representatives of civil society to produce a handbook for MPs on the role of parliament in implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security.

Resolution 1325, which was unanimously adopted in October 2000, stresses the importance of the equal participation and full involvement of women in all efforts to maintain and promote peace and security. The handbook is designed to guide parliamentarians in implementing the resolution in Zimbabwe.

Speaking at the official launch earlier this month, Mr. Mudenda said: “Resolution 1325 is a valuable tool for ensuring the protection and promotion of women’s rights and gender equality in peace and security.”

UN Women country representative, Ms. Fatou Aminata Lo, also present, added: “The launch of this handbook is timely, especially as we approach the 2023 elections. We hope that you will use it in the framework of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 as a tool to promote a safe and peaceful environment where women can freely and peacefully participate in electoral processes.”