Mixed success in Zimbabwe fight against GBV


Zimbabwean women march against gender based violence during the 16 Days of Activism against GBV in Harare

from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Bureau
HARARE, (CAJ News) – ZIMBABWE is experiencing mixed fortunes in the fight against gender-based violence (GBV) and child marriages.

GBV is a significant concern in the Southern African country, with a substantial number of women experiencing physical and sexual violence.

Approximately 39,4 percent of women have been subjected to physical violence, and an estimated 11,6 percent have faced sexual violence.

Although there has been a decline in child marriage rates, 16,2 percent of women were married before the age of 18 as of 2022.

The figures are according to the Zimbabwe Gender-Based Violence Assessment, released by the World Bank.

While Zimbabwe has taken several legislative steps against GBV by adopting various international and domestic laws, the figures underscored the necessity for more effective enforcement of GBV legislation and the establishment of legal frameworks that categorically criminalize GBV acts.

The GBV Assessment commends policymakers’ commitment to eliminating violence against women and children in Zimbabwe, as espoused in the recently launched Zimbabwe National Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-based Violence 2023–2030.

However, the assessment notes that more work must be done on the legislative front.

“The 2007 Domestic Violence Act needs to be amended to tackle harmful cultural practices and extend coverage to GBV incidents outside the domestic sphere,” said Eneida Fernandes, World Bank Country Manager for Zimbabwe.

The Gender Assessment reveals that women are less likely to be employed in wage work and more likely to earn less than men. The labor force participation rate for me is 53 percent compared to 34 percent for women.

– CAJ News

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