MDC-A activists who once claimed to have had been raped by state agents

Zimbabwe today joins the rest of the universe commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of sexual violence in conflict.

The United Nations General Assembly’s 2015 resolution proclaimed 19 June as a day to condemn and call for the end of conflict-related sexual violence, including rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy and enforced sterilization and honour victims, survivors and those fighting to end these most terrorizing and destructive of crimes.

According to UNFPA Conflict-related sexual violence exacts an unspeakable toll on a survivor, who is most likely to be a civilian and not a combatant. Even if hostilities cease, the scars are lasting.

Sexual violence in conflict also threatens public health, security and peacebuilding. The costs of war are great; the cost of war against women and girls is incalculable.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General António Guterres says this already underreported crime should never be allowed to slip further into the shadows.

“We cannot allow this already underreported crime to slip further into the shadows.

“Perpetrators must be punished. Investment in recovery from the [COVID] pandemic must tackle the root causes of sexual and gender-based violence,” he said.