Excessive alcohol consumption has been cited as one of the major reasons behind failure by drinkers to control themselves and allegedly end up abusing women at both drinking joints and their homes.
The concern was raised during an online meeting hosted by Southern Africa Alcohol Policy Alliance (SAAPA) where different stakeholders gave their experiences in relation to alcohol consumption and regulation.
Mhoze Chikowore from the University of California, Santa Barbara History Department said the inability of one to control his alcohol has been a major driver of women abuse since the colonial period.
“Inability to control one’s alcohol consumption is known as alcohol use disorder. Beer became one of the causes of rape amongst black women, where they would be raped by whites especially at breweries,” said Chikowore.
Another presenter Oliver Van Beemen said beer is causing promotion of sexual abuse on women especially those who work at bars and drinking spots.
“Alcohol is promoting sexual abuse of women when they want to be promoted at work and this is happening in almost every African country.
“Women who work in bars and night clubs are usually regarded as prostitutes and they are sexually harassed by both customers and employers,” said Van Beemen.
One female participant in the meeting employed as a bar tender in Rujeko in Masvingo narrated her ordeal saying she sometimes suffer molestation by patrons and could even sleep with her boss to keep the job.
“Men sometimes touch my private parts as I serve them in the bar and they call me a prostitute but I am trying to earn a living and take care of my two school going children.
“I want freedom at work but these men hide behind beer and abuse me. I end up sleeping with my employer just to keep my job,” said the participant.