As the world marks the International Women’s Day 2021, (IWD) tomorrow, renowned political analyst and human right lawyer, Dewa Mavhinga, say political violence is keeping women out of politics in Zimbabwe.
IWD is celebrated annually on 8 March, and offers an opportunity to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.
Meanwhile, Mavhinga who is also Human Rights Watch’s Southern Africa Director, says Zimbabwean women often suffer more politically motivated human rights abuses including rape and other sexual abuse.
He says these cruel acts are used as a form of ‘punishment’ for their political views or sometimes simply because their husbands or other male family members are political activists.
“Women often suffer more politically motivated human rights abuses including rape and sexual abuse, which is used as a form of ‘punishment’ for their political views or sometimes simply because their husbands or other male family members are political activists,” he says.
He adds that to make matters worse, there have been instances where women have reported sexual abuse, however, the police instead accuse victims of lying about violence committed against them.
“There have been cases where women have reported sexual abuse, but the police has not believed them and instead accused victims of lying about violence committed against them,” he adds.
Few, months ago, Movement for Democratic Change-Alliance officials, Joana Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marowa, were arrested for allegedly faking abductions, with the government accusing them of lying with the intention to tarnish its image.