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WiPSU newsletter - Issue 2
Women In Politics Support Unit (WIPSU)
April 15, 2013

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Let’s end GBV

Women in Politics Support Unit (WiPSU) celebrated this year’s Inter-national Women’s Day in Bulawayo. This year’s celebrations are being held under the theme: “Peace begins with me, Peace begins with you, and Peace begins with us all: Act now to end violence against women and girls.”

While continuous calls have been made to end gender based violence, WiPSU is saddened by the incessant cases of violence permeating in our country. On the 20th of February 2013, the nation woke up to the shocking news of the ten year old Stacey Munjoma who was raped and found dead in a maize field in Rugare, Harare. Stacy, who had been reported missing on Monday morning, was found half naked with her blouse stained with blood, a post-mortem conducted on the Grade 4 pupil revealed that her death had been caused by the shock and trauma she endured after being raped.

Recently Hurungwe East MP, Honourable Sarah Mahoka was also hospitalized after she was allegedly attacked by youths during a meeting. Perpetrators of such inhuman atrocities should be brought to book. It is society’s responsibility to protect women and children.

Although the government of Zimbabwe has made strides towards promoting gender equality through the enactment of legislations and policies that support gender equality, the plight of women remains in a sorry state. There is still a long way to go before women can fully enjoy their fundamental rights. It is appalling that women are still not paid equally with their male counterparts; women are still not equally represented in business or politics and decision making positions. Women still experience, limited access to education, unequal job opportunities and cases of violence against them has remained high.

There is an upsurge of rape cases in Zimbabwe. Violence against women is a serious concern. Women suffer daily the effects of domestic, sexual and other forms of gender-based violence in the country. It is sad to note that such cases are still happening when we have the Domestic Violence Act. More needs to be done by all stakeholders who include the community, legislature, executive and judiciary to ensure the problem of violence against women and children is dealt with holistically. Most countries are run by men and we have witnessed a lot of gender based violence; we need to have women in key positions in order to end violence.

WiPSU congratulates the women of Zimbabwe for their hard work and efforts that led to the adoption of the draft constitution which provides for gender equality and the Protection of women from all forms of violence which includes gender based and domestic violence.

WiPSU applauds efforts by women politicians who handed over a petition to Senate president Edna Madzongwe over rising cases of violence against women and children in Zimbabwe ahead of the referendum and general elections. More efforts need to be done for the total eradication of gender based violence.

Zimbabwe is set to hold elections in this year, there is need to ensure that the country avoids unwarranted violence and intimidation that has characterized previous processes as women and children happen to be the most affected in such situations.

WiPSU remains committed to fighting for a democratic space that allows for the respect of the rights of women. Under the 50/50 campaign, WiPSU urges everyone to vote for a woman, for a violence free Zimbabwe.

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