Home » Human Rights » Concern Over Gender Disparity in Air Force

Gender imbalance in the Air Force of Zimbabwe is of great concern and efforts are being made to address the challenge, AFZ Air Marshal Perrance Shiri said yesterday.

He said this at the handover ceremony of clothing and television sets donated by MultiChoice Zimbabwe for people at Chingwizi Relief Camp and Manyame Air Force Base Hospital at Air Force Headquarters in Harare.

“There is an element of gender disparity that needs to be addressed,” said Air Marshal Shiri.

“Almost 99,9 percent of people who are seated happen to be males and I see the bulk of females standing.

“This suggests that we probably need to re-look at our promotion policy and gender balance in terms of the officer corp.

“I would like to see that rectified by the Chief of Staff and I do not have to do the job for you, but that is a very serious observation which needs urgent attention.”

In an interview Air Marshal Shiri said more needed to be done to counter male chauvinism and boost confidence among female members in the AFZ.

“There is the belief that men are superior to women in performance. That is not true and we need to quickly address that and make sure women are given same opportunities as their male counterparts and that they rise up the ranks.

“There is need to raise confidence of female members of the force so that they don’t suffer from gender stereotypes, where they themselves think they cannot match males. This process takes time, but we need to start and put more effort.

“I would be happy if we achieve it today but it is a gradual process and we are determined to make it work,” he said.

Air Marshal Shiri said the AFZ encouraged more women to join the force during recruitment, adding a certain quota had to be reserved for them.

“We have about four or so group captains, which are like colonels in the army and we still have three other ranks above those which are Air Commodore, Air Vice Marshal and Air Marshal.

” It is our hope that one of these days we have a female Air Marshal and nothing can stop that from happening,” he said. Air Marshal Shiri thanked MultiChoice for the donation.

Multichoice chief executive Mr Lovemore Mangwende, said more needed to be done towards assisting the disaantaged.

Source : The Herald