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Women March Through Harare Demanding Expanded Public Role

Dozens of women marched in the Zimbabwean capital of Harare Thursday to demand equal representation in public offices, but the launch of the so-called 50-50 Campaign by the Women in Politics Support Unit was poorly attended by the political class.

Correspondent Thomas Chiripasi reported on the march through central Harare.

Political parties were unevenly represented at Thursday's march. Though two senior members of the Movement for Democratic Change faction led by Arthur Mutambara lent their support, there was just one representative of the MDC faction of Morgan Tsvangirai, and the ruling ZANU-PF party was a complete no-show.

A spokespersonfor the Women in Politics Support Unit said women from all political parties were invited as gender discrimination varies little by political affiliation.

Lucia Matibenga, who chairs the women’s league of the Tsvangirai MDC faction, told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that she did not attend the event because she did not receive an invitation. But she said that the event was important because women are constantly sidelined when decisions are made.

Studio 7 placed a call to Women’s Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri, who is the ruling party's secretary for gender and culture, but she declined to comment..

More reports from VOA'S Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...