In a statement to commemorate the International Womens Day on Tuesday Zimrights said political instability in the country as the country approaches the referendum does not favour the development of women rights. Zimbabwe elections have in the past been marred by violence and intimidation as President Robert Mugabe faced challenge to his 31- year-old rule since independence.
“As the country heads for the constitution referendum and presidential elections, the security of women is of major concern as most fear reliving the violations of the 2008 elections. Most women became victims of rape, torture and intimidation either for participating in politics or being married or related to men who are actively involved in politics. This has negatively affected women’s participation in not only politics but in most governance processes,|” Zimrights said.
“To date, many women have had to live with constant reminders of the rape they went through. Some were impregnated and have the babies, while some are now HIV positive as a result of the rape, yet justice has not been delivered.”
“Zimrights notes with great concern the predicament which Zimbabwean women find themselves in as a result of the political instability that the country is experiencing. Being one of the most vulnerable groups ,it it of utmost importance that government takes into cognisance the need to protect women from being exposed to unwarranted human rights violations at the hands of their male counterparts,”ZimRights said.
The rights group called on the government of Zimbabwe to improve the livelihoods of women as the country is still battling to find ways to improve the economy with high unemployment figures.
The government was also urged to avail education facilities to the girl child as this is when the basis of future is created.
“ Most Zimbabweans cannot afford the standard school fees, compromising the education of the girl child. This must come to an end! A woman does not need a learned man to add value to her life, a learned woman can stand on her own. Give her that chance, ” ZimRights said.
This year’s theme for commemorating Women’s day is being run under the theme ” Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to economic development. ” The United Nations (UN) office in Zimbabwe said they will continue to advocate for women’s rights to avoid trafficking of women and gender-based violence among other things.