By Nyasha Mutena
As the world commemorates the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition has noted with great concen, a spike in cases of violence against women and girls during this era of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This years’ commemorations are running under the global theme, “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!”.
Through an official press statement today 27 November 2020, CiZC Gender Committee Chairperson, Margaret Mutsamvi implored the government to expedite the implementation of the UN February 2020 recommendations.
“We implore the Government of Zimbabwe to speed up recommendations by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) to the effect that Zimbabwe must improve on implementation of laws to protect women from violence,” she said.
Zimbabwe has witnessed a spike in cases of domestic violence with several cases of physical and emotional abuse of women being recorded during the lockdown period at household level.
According to a research conducted by Zimbabwean civic society organisations this year, reports of physical violence went up by 38.5 percent from April to May while reports of emotional violence went up by 80 percent during the same period.
In the same vein, the Committee also called for full implementation of laws contained in the country’s constitution adopted in 2013 on the protection of women.
Mutsamvi mentioned that it is imperative for government to ensure full domestication of the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women as well as to periodically review legal systems and build institutions that protect womens’ rights.
Commemoration of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence is an opportunity for the government to reassert its commitment to the protection and upliftment of women and girls.
Gender equality is a cornerstone of economic and sustainable development hence women and girls should be placed at the centre of development efforts.