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More action - less talk
Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWLA)
December 08, 2013
For the last
couple of years, the Government of Zimbabwe has run with a theme
of 365 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence, and not just
16 days. Whilst this is a commendable move, it is clear from a reading
of the local newspapers that more needs to be done to curb gender-based
tended to focus mostly on violence occurring within the private
sphere, which indeed affects women and children more, but the silence
on other forms of violence against women in Zimbabwe is loud. Police
operations such as Chipo Chiroorwa, have caused untold physical,
emotional and psychological trauma to women who have been arbitrarily
arrested on allegations of loitering for the purposes of prostitution.
Moreover, increased incidents of harassment of women in public places
such as bars, taxi ranks and streets has derived women of their
fundamental right to human dignity. The new Constitution
clearly states that, “ Every person has inherent dignity in
their private and public life, and the right to have that dignity
respected and protected.” When a woman is harassed, mocked
or arrested simply because she is a woman that dignity is stripped
away from her. ZWLA urges all Zimbabwean citizens and residents
to protect and promote women’s right to dignity.
It was refreshing
to read in The Herald of 5 December 2013 that a man got a custodial
sentence for assaulting his wife. In the report titled “Habitual
wife basher locked up”, the man was given a custodial sentence,
which has become increasingly rare in domestic violence cases. ZWLA
urges all courts handling matters of violence against women to pass
stringent sentences to deter would-be perpetrators of violence from
As the country
commemorates 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence,
Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association makes the following recommendations
to the Government of Zimbabwe:
and protect Women Human Rights Defenders as they carry out their
work in promoting and protecting the rights of women in Zimbabwe.
women’s economic empowerment programmes to cover all women
despite political affiliation so that they do not stay in marriages
and partnerships that endanger their lives for finacial stability.
number of shelters across the country where women can find reprieve
when faced with danger.
Visit the ZWLA
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