HomeLocal NewsPolitical intolerance fueling gender-based violence - NTJWG

Political intolerance fueling gender-based violence – NTJWG

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BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
POLITICAL intolerance, a harsh economic environment, harmful cultural practices as well as the COVID-19 pandemic are fuelling a sharp rise in cases of gender-based violence across the country, a transitional justice lobby group has said.

In a statement to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the National Transitional Justice Working Group (NTJWG) implored public institutions such as the police and judicial system to protect women from gender-based violence.

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is commemorated annually on November 25.

“It is saddening that this day comes at a time when gender-based violence is at an all-time high. Currently, gender-based violence is fueled by intolerant political practices, harsh economic environment, harmful cultural practices and the COVID-19 pandemic,” the NTJWG said in a statement.

“Women are also subjected to gross human rights violations in times of conflict, including the use of rape and sexual assault as a weapon. Regrettably, the State constantly fails to provide effective remedies to widely publicised cases of gender-based violence.”

The lobby group singled out the persecution of Mary Mubaiwa, the estranged wife of Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga.

The NTJWG also said the continuous attacks against female political leaders based on their gender, including Cecilia Chimbiri, Joana Mamombe and Netsai Marova is a cause for concern as the world commemorates the international day for the elimination of gender-based violence.

“The examples articulated show the need for a gender-sensitive peace and reconciliation process in Zimbabwe,” the NTJWG said.

“This is particularly necessary given that women face a double-edged sword where they are secondary victims in their capacity as wives, daughters and mothers. Although the Constitution explicitly guarantees women’s rights and strives to protect them against gender-based violence, women continue to be marginalised and excluded from economic, social and political spheres of society.”

The NTJWG urged the police and judicial system to protect women from gender-based violence and end impunity on gender-based related violence.

This year’s commemorations are running under the theme: “Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!” The colour orange is used to represent a brighter future free of violence against women and girls.

The day coincided with the beginning of the campaign for the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.

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