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rape prevalent - Muchinguri
Mbanje, The Standard (Zimbabwe)
November 24, 2013
women in Zimbabwe have experienced marital rape at the hands of
their spouses, greatly exposing them to HIV and Aids, a cabinet
minister has said.
Affairs, Gender and Community Development minister, Oppah Muchinguri
told female legislators attending a conference on ending sexual
violence that many women were being raped by their husbands and
you in this room who are married or have a partner, have been raped
at some point,” she said to a thunderous applause.
of The Women’s
Trust (TWT) Memory Kachambwa told the legislators that women
generally had a culture of silence whereby they do not speak out
about issues that affect them like gender violence which increases
their chances of getting infected.
culture of silence is so entrenched in societal norms which do not
recognise women’s contributions. Women are violated all the
time because of their position in the society,” she said.
women were brought up to be insecure beings that had to depend on
men and that put them in a risky position which is made worse by
from Masvingo, Monica Chigudu said the issue of paying lobola had
also contributed to women’s vulnerability.
a man pays for his bride, he thinks he has purchased a property
that he can use to his discretion.
This is where
we are facing challenges because the women are now like owned properties
and have no rights whatsoever,” she said.
are vulnerable to HIV and Aids and according to the Millennium Development
Goals Report for 2012, they have a higher prevalence (18%) than
that of men (12%).
increases if a woman is married or in a long-term relationship where
her role is lowered in accordance with social norms which permit
men to be in control of everything.
houses fuel HIV infection’
a 2010 Unicef research, when women enter a stable and long-term
relationship they struggle to insist on the use of a condom even
though there might be evidence of risk of infection.
permits men to be promiscuous and forces women to always meet their
physical needs. The women are constantly warned that if they do
not please their men they will look for other women,” reads
the Unicef report.
Efforts by women’s
organisations to stem these imbalances have been met with a frothy
reception by the society.
ridiculed by the society and called all sorts of names. Some say
we are bitter divorced women who just want to perpetuate waywardness,”
said director of Musasa
Project Netty Musanhu.
the UNDP initiated Zimbabwe Agenda for the Accelerated Country Action
of Women and Girls Gender Equality and HIV and Aids, traditional
practices such as polygamy, and its modern version “small
houses” whereby a man has a secret wife, are some of the reasons
that fuel the high incidence of infection among married women.
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