Friday, July 19, 2013

Zimbabwean Minister calls for female 'sex boycott'

Cabinet Minister Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga has urged Zimbabwean women to embark on a sex strike in a bid to force their husbands to register to vote.

A trend of mainly female voters has been identified and a radical solution has been set in motion.

Zimbabwean women may flock to polls come election time, however their male counterparts are not as enthusiastic.

This disparity may change in the African country's upcoming elections at the end of this month, after a female government minister called on women to withhold sex from their partners, unless they register to vote.

Priscilla, Minister of Regional Integration and International Cooperation has decided to take a stand and is urging her fellow women to join her, with the hope that men will vote to avoid the proposed 'sex boycott'.

All Africa quotes her in saying, "You are basically saying to your partners, we are all suffering the same way. We need to make a difference. I am not asking you to go to war. I am asking you to go and vote".

"You have a responsibility. For years, we have seen that the majority of people that go to register to vote have been women. And this call is to say, we as women can't be taking this struggle alone. We need to take our men on board. And if we can't bring them on board by talking to them nicely, we will deny them something that we know they certainly would want.", said Misihairabwi-Mushonga, via All Africa.

Former opposition leader Margaret Dongo however disagreed, stating that it is not an informed solution.

All Africa reveals she retorted, "Zimbabwean men are very tricky and our culture is very tricky. You will find a lot of women being thrown out of their homes. After all rural women are not well empowered in terms of information and in terms of being able to stand for themselves and protecting themselves".

Misihairabwi-Mushonga maintained, "Sex strike is not a new concept. It has been used to stop wars," she said. "It has been used to ask for developmental things in the areas and has been very successful. So this is not a revolutionary concept that I am coming up with. It is a concept that has been use(d) the world over.", via All Africa.

According to Wikipedia, strikes of this nature were previously carried out in countries like Nigeria, during pre-colonial times, where women forming part of a 'Council' withheld sex and their duties to ensure good behavior among their husbands. Similarly, in 2009,  a group of female Kenyan gender activists organised a week-long sex boycott, aimed at politicians of the time. Their wives were encouraged to join in, and they even offered to pay prostitutes their loss of earnings if they joined the sex strike.

President Mugabe announced July 31 as the date Zimbabwe holds national elections, however the date may change due to a lack of funds.

A ruling on that is expected this week, according to All Africa.

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