Violence against women on the rise

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Harare (New Ziana)- Violence against women has risen in Zimbabwe due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni said on Monday.

Nyoni told journalists ahead of the International Women’s Day commemorations set for Tuesday that the government was working to economically empower women and girls as a way to eradicate all forms of violence against them.

“Gender based violence is on the rise in the country and the whole world and this has been worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This has been another pandemic, globally, not just in Zimbabwe because people were closed in and arguments start so gender based violence has been increasing.

“In one month, we were able to record over 1 000 women who were victimised in one district.

 “All this has affected achievement of Gender Equality. Harmful and religious practices have also worsened gender based violence, “she said.

Nyoni said women and girls also face higher rates of sexual violence and human trafficking due to climate change.

“During extreme weather such as droughts, cyclones and floods, women tend to work more to restore and secure household livelihoods. This will leave less time for women to access training and education, develop skills or participate in the economic mainstay, thus gender equality remains low.

“My Ministry is alive to the effects of climate change and disasters and it has been involved in the formulation of policies and strategies which are climate and disaster related and it ensures that they come out with clear strategies which are gender sensitive and inclusive of vulnerable communities,” she said.

Nyoni said the Ministry set up one stop centres where violence issues are dealt with, under one roof.

“To date, the Ministry has established six One stop centres in Manicaland, Midlands, Matabeleland South, Mashonaland west, Mashonaland Central and Harare.

“The One Stop Centres provide all key services required by a GBV/ sexual violence survivor under one roof namely health, psychosocial, legal and police services.

The International Women’s Day is celebrated annually on March 8th and this year’s theme is “Gender Equality for a sustainable tomorrow.”

New Ziana

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