Civic Society Organisations under the flagship of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) have expressed concern over an increase in cases of gender based violence during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Commemorations of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence began on the 25th of November under the global theme, “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!”
In a statement, CiCZ said there has been a spike in cases of physical and emotional violence at household level during the Covid-19 induced lockdown.
“As the world commemorates the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition notes with great concern a spike in cases of violence against women and girls during this era of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Zimbabwe has witnessed a spike in cases of domestic violence with several cases of physical and emotional abuse of women being recorded during the lockdown period at household level.” said CiCZ
According to a research conducted by Zimbabwean civic society organizations this year, reports of physical violence went up by 38.5 percent from April to May while reports of emotional violence went up by 80 percent during the same period.
The plight of women and girls CiCZ says has been worsened by the economic downturn and have also fallen victim to police brutality.
“Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown has continued to worsen the plight of women and girls who have also not been spared from the brutality by the police and the army who have apparently taken advantage of the Covid-19 regulations to silence dissent.
“We take with great concern that the State apparatus in Zimbabwe continues to be among the biggest violators of women’s rights with the most recent case being that of the opposition MDC Alliance trio of Joana Mamombe, Netsai Marova and Cecilia Chimbiri who were abducted, tortured and sexually assaulted by state agents for staging a demonstration against economic hardships in May 2020.” said the Coalition
The organisations implored the government of Zimbabwe to move with speed in implementing the February 2020 recommendations by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) to the effect that Zimbabwe must improve on implementation of laws to protect women from violence
16 Days of Activism Against Gender ViolenceCiCZGBVGender Activists