68 percent Zim women brutalised
ABOUT 68 percent of women in Zimbabwe have experienced gender based violence (GBV) in their lifetime, making the country a nation with the third highest prevalence of abuse against women in the Sadc region.
The disturbing statistics come at a time when Zimbabwe has joined the rest of the world in commemorating 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence which started last Friday and ends on December 10.
According to the Genderlinks 2016 Barometer, six countries with the highest GBV prevalence in the Sadc region are Lesotho (86 percent), Zambia with (77 percent); Zimbabwe (68 percent) Botswana (67 percent), South Africa (50 percent) and Mauritius (24 percent).
The barometer revealed that the most predominant form of GBV experienced by women perpetrated by men in the six worst affected Sadc countries occurs within intimate partnerships.
In her speech to mark the start of the campaign against GBV, UN Women executive director Ms Phumzile MlamboNgcuka said the benefits of ending violence against women and girls far outweighs the investment.
“We believe in and work for a world where women and girls can flourish and prosper peacefully alongside men and boys, sharing in and benefiting from societies that value their skills and accept their leadership,” she said.
“Violence against women and girls has a devastating impact on individuals and on the society. Women and girls who experience violence lose their dignity, they live in fear and pain, and in the worst cases they pay with their lives.”
Ms Mlambo-Ngcuka said violence cuts deeply into the liberties that everyone must enjoy, including the rights to be safe at home as well as the right to walk safely on the streets.
“We should be able to expect that attackers will be punished, that justice will be done, and that we can get care and support for injuries.
“Yet, still in many countries, the laws are inadequate, the police force is uninterested, shelters, heath care and support are unavailable, and the criminal justice system is remote, expensive and biased against women and in favour of the male perpetrators,” she said. — @thamamoe