Some are Empty Shells without Groundnuts: Social Construction of Female Political Candidates in Urban Masvingo, Zimbabwe

In view of the low levels of women’s representation in political office in Zimbabwe after the 2018 elections, questions arise regarding whether young people can, or will support female candidates in future elections. The youth is seen as a critical group that may shape the future of politics in Zimbabwe. We conducted a qualitative study to explore the views young people have of female political candidates, through focus group discussions and indepth interviews with participants aged between 19 and 24 in the city of Masvingo. Drawing on social constructionism, poststructuralist feminism, and intersectionality analyses, the study found that young people in urban Masvingo have a predominantly negative perception of female candidates, although this is mediated by factors such as gender, class, sexuality, disability, and education. Nonetheless, some of the youth in Masvingo appear to be redefining or countering gendered societal norms and values, as they appear to accept women as political candidates.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
Tags: Zimbabwe; young people; politics; female political candidates
journal of african elections vol21 number 2 1 transparent democratic governance in africa