68 per­cent Zim women bru­talised

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Than­deka Moyo Chron­i­cle Re­porter

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

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