President Robert Mugabe has a comforting new face for his election campaign - Joyce Mujuru, who became the country's first female vice-president three months ago. With a parliamentary election due in Zimbabwe next week, Mrs Mujuru features prominently on television advertisements for Mr Mugabe's ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) as it tries to play the gender card. The former army general's wife is filmed addressing campaign rallies around the country and shown on evening news bulletins attending prayer meetings ahead of the parliamentary poll on Thursday. These are the last polls Mr Mugabe, 81, is likely to preside over. This time there is no talk of the 'degrees in violence' he previously boasted of: Zanu-PF is now marketing itself as a party with women's interests at heart. For the first time, the ruling party has implemented a quota system based on gender. Thirty of Zanu-PF's 120 candidates are women. The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is fielding only 16 women. It is a clever strategy. Women make up more than 51 per cent of Zimbabwe's population. Mr Mugabe hopes to woo this vital constituency with the aid of the motherly Mrs Mujuru. But the opposition says the government is far from committed to the female cause. 'Women in Zimbabwe want things that will address issues to do with health, HIV and Aids and education,' said Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, an MDC legislator. She believes many women are angry with the ruling party. 'They have experienced the pain of no jobs, no food,' she said. Women's activist Janah Ncube agreed. While women might welcome more representation in parliament, they would not be easily swayed to vote Zanu-PF, she said. Most of Zimbabwe's women live below the poverty line, struggling to feed their families as inflation soars at more than 120 per cent.