On International Women’s Day, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) appreciates the role of women to challenge and create democratic societies.
We reaffirm our commitment to women empowerment and appreciate their role in democracy and economic development.
This year’s commemorations are running under the theme “Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world” and for us, this is a call for women to organize and claim their space on the economic and political front.
Gender bias and inequality have largely impeded women empowerment especially on the political front and we remain concerned by the cosmetic approaches towards the empowerment of women. This development goes against Section 80 (1) of the country’s constitution which states that “every woman has full and equal dignity of the person with men and this includes equal opportunities in political, economic and social activities”.
The Covid 19 pandemic has also seen a surge in cases of violence against women and thus further fuelling inequality.
The political environment has also resulted in cases of victimization of female activists with the most notable case being that of opposition MDC Alliance Member of Parliament, Joana Mamombe and two other activists Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova.
The three are victims of sexual assault at the hands of state security agents.
We note with concern that the democratic space in Zimbabwe continues to shrink and the environment has been hazardous for female activists seeking to challenge the state of affairs in Zimbabwe.
CiZC implores the government of Zimbabwe to honor its commitment to women empowerment and promote a culture on non-violence against women.
We further call upon the government to uphold its constitutional obligation to respect fundamental rights and freedoms.
The failure by the government to uphold the constitution is one of the major inhibiting factors for women in terms of their participation in democratic processes.
We further urge our leaders to lead by example and desist from persecuting and victimizing women. The case of Mary Mubaiwa, former wife to Vice President, Constantine Chiwenga is of major concern to us.
It is deplorable that a Vice President will use state resources to persecute his former wife while denying her access to her children.
Our leaders should be exemplary rather than to be on the forefront of persecuting women.