When I saw a tweet that postulated how it’s tough being a woman, I realised how certain archaic behaviours are still finding dominance in our society, modern as we may try to be. The issue was that of sexualizing women, and that women of high offices are always slammed with sexual allegations for their ascendance, and for what they do once in they are in those offices.
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba became a victim of vile sexual attacks because of her work at the country’s electoral body. While her work has raised some questions, relating that to her private life becomes another matter altogether.
Justice Chigumba must resign from her position at ZEC.
While her privacy must ordinarily be respected, there is a strong public interest argument in this instance where a private sexual relationship fetters the discretion of a judge.
I will publish the full story on Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/m3ByRkWmkR
— Edmund Kudzayi (@EdmundKudzayi) July 16, 2018
This was a tweet from former Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi who accused Justice Chigumba of having a sexual relationship with one of the elections’ contenders.
Chigumba has become a victim of social media abuse not because of her role as ZEC Chairperson, but that she is a woman who is in such a high position.
ZEC has since made a formal report to the police because of such attacks.
But this exposes the mentality of a society deeply embedded in patriarchy. It’s deplorable. Her private life is private. That’s why there’s the word private.
We should criticize her work as ZEC chairperson, not as related to who she is having sex with.
We should learn to respect the privacy of women.