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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • 16 Days of Activism against Gender based Violence
    Heal Zimbabwe Trust
    November 28, 2013

    From peace in the home to peace in the world: Let’s challenge militarism and end all forms of violence against women.

    Heal Zimbabwe Trust joins the rest of the world in commemorating 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence from November 25 to December 10 2013. This year’s international theme is “…From Peace in the home to peace in the world, Let’s challenge militarism and end violence against women…” The theme among other things, seeks to highlight gender-based violence perpetrated by state actors, domestic violence and sexual violence during and after conflict. Therefore, embedded in the theme is the fact that gender based violence has devastating effects, not only for victims but the society as a whole.

    Zimbabwe has not been spared of cases of violence against women. These practices have varied from political and domestic violence, economic deprivation, sexual harassment, and child marriages to pledging of virgins, which is advocated for by some religious sects. During the 2008 political violence, 22 women in Mount Darwin were subjected to politically motivated sexual harassment and more recently, the arrest and torture of female human rights activists such as WOZA members and Beatrice Mtetwa. Women suffer the brunt in threefold, as a mother, a wife and a human rights activist. Gender based violence not only has an impact on one’s health but also affect the emotional and psychological well-being.

    Although the July 31 elections recorded minimum cases of open violence, it is the covert forms of violence such as harassment, intimidation, threats and forced displacements that affected women more than men. Many families were threatened with unspecified action soon after the announcement of the election results and women had to suffer the brunt of relocating and settling in new areas where they had to help the family adjust and assist children secure new school places. Zimbabwe has a record of human rights abuses perpetrated by state actors including members of the army who over the years have been brutal towards women. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development compels member states to halve the incidence of gender-based violence by 2015...” Therefore in order to achieve this, there arises the need for efforts towards behaviour change because the values one upholds in the private domain determine their behaviour and attitude in public. When peace is upheld in the home, it transcends to the community, nation and into the rest of the world.

    “…Peace begins with you; peace begins with me; peace begins with us all…”

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