During election periods and other national processes people belonging to opposing parties are subjected to horrific human rights violations; these violations are documented and publicised but the real stories of what happens to women are not told as much.
Violence against Women
Last week I met a young woman, Hilda, at one of the women’s organisations in Harare where she was reporting her domestic violence case and the conversation gravitated from light chit chat to more a serious discussion on elections and the violence associated and right off the bat she said her mother had died in 2000 from complications resulting from the violence. Hilda said that her mother had pneumonia in 2000 and during the campaign period she was forced to attend a rally.
Vimbai was a 10 year old girl whose life changed forever too early. Vimbai lived with her widowed mum and siblings at their grandparents’ house which they shared with their uncle. Life was normal, her mum used to work extra hard for long hours to make ends meet. She was a cheerful little girl, a delight to those who knew her. Her world changed when one day her uncle raped her. She didn’t know it was rape, she didn’t tell anyone but her mother noticed that she had become withdrawn and she questioned her and found out what had happened.
This Press Release was published in the Daily News and in Newsday on International Women's Day
(8 March 2012) Today, the Research and Advocacy Unit [RAU], an NGO working on providing specialist assistance in research and advocacy in the field of human rights, democracy and governance calls on the Zimbabwean government to eradicate politically motivated violence against women as it is a drawback to the development of communities in commemoration of International Women’s Day.