This comes as his Zanu PF party has suggested that at least 70 parliamentary seats should be reserved for women in the new constitution.
“Affirmative action will be the answer, if they (women) were to square up in constituencies, they would lose,” Mugabe told a Global Power Women Network meeting in Harare on Thursday.
“The attitude of men still despises women and we need proportional representation, as they have done in South Africa.”
Zanu PF’s position, in response to the first constitutional draft, is that the seats should be reserved for women for at least 20 years, after which they will slug it out with men.
“Total number of seats in the House of Assembly is 280 and distributed as follows: 210 first past the post, 70 shall be reserved for women by proportional representation, the 70 shall remain reserved for women for twenty years after which they become open for men to participate,” reads the document seen by The Standard.
Despite proposing the 20-year moratorium, the party did not give reasons why they came with that time limit. This differs with the constitution draft that was published recently, which suggested that all legislators should be voted in through a system of proportional representation, without the first past the post system.
In the past Zanu PF has come up with botched plans to push up women representation to at least a third. The party, in 2005, reserved seats for women but this became a very divisive issue within Zanu PF leading to Tsholotsho legislator Jonathan Moyo’s fallout and eventual expulsion.
Southern African nations signed a protocol that women must make at least a third of national legislators with the ratio expected to rise to at least half.