Every day, 22 women are raped in Zimbabwe!
Every day, twenty-two women are raped in the country, with a 74% rise in recorded instances between 2010 and 2018.
According to police data, one woman is molested every 75 minutes, and 646 women are sexually abused on a monthly basis.
Mabel Chinomona, President of the Senate, stated at a discussion session honouring 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence in Harare that GBV instances increased dramatically during the Covid-19 lockdowns.
She claimed that GBV has deprived women of their right to participate in society.
“We cannot allow this to continue; we must work together to stop gender-based violence,” she stated.
She said a national hotline, run by Msasa Project, recorded more than 6 800 GBV-related calls for the period March 30, 2020, to the end of December 2020.
“Given that 94 percent of the calls were from women, it goes without saying that women and the girl child bear the disproportionate impact of domestic violence,” she said.
She said GBV was a worldwide problem as the United Nations estimates that one in three women experiences sexual or physical violence in their lifetime.
“Within the SADC region, GBV is high and it varies across member states.
“Physical violence ranges from 6 percent to 34.4 percent; sexual violence from 4 percent to 25.5 percent, while emotional violence ranges from 15.9 percent to 36.5 percent.”
She also bemoaned the way in which victims of rape and GBV are asked to bring the perpetrator when they make a report to the police.
“We need to do better as a people,” she said.
She said the fight against GBV should be waged every day of the year instead of intensifying it only during the 16 days.
Speaking at the same event, Child President, Unathi Nyoni, said the growing number of victims of GBV was worrying.
“We are coming for the perpetrators of GBV, these figures are alarming and we cannot let this continue,” he said.
“Gender-based violence is a pothole stopping us from achieving our sustainable development goals.
“We need more funds for GBV services and we need to empower children so that they can open up.”
The 16 days are commemorated annually from November 25 to December 10.
The Government has enacted various legislation to protect victims, but stakeholders have called for stiffer sentences for offenders.
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