BY EVANS MATHANDA/VANESSA GONYE
WOMEN’s rights group Musasa Project yesterday revealed that its shelter centres had assisted more than 62 580 victims of gender-based violence (GBV) since January, up from 40 000 during the same period last year.
“We have noted a sharp increase in sexual violence cases by over 60%. GBV cases rose from slightly over 20 000 in 2019 to slightly above 40 000 in 2020. From January to September, we assisted more than 22 850 women,” Musasa revealed.
Musasa spokesperson Rotina Mafume-Musara encouraged GBV victims to seek help early.
“Women and girls should seek help early by reaching out and talking to someone before it’s too late because it is important to seek help early in situations of abuse,” she said.
Women Affairs minister Sithembiso Nyoni blamed illegal economic sanctions for causing poverty and fuelling GBV.
“Of course, there are so many factors, but I condemn the illegal sanctions that were imposed on Zimbabwe. Sanctions have crippled Zimbabwe’s economy, causing domestic violence due to poverty,” she said.
Shamwari yeMwanasikana has appealed for more budgetary allocations to cover needs for the girl child including the provision of sanitary wear.
“Many girls do not have access to sanitary wear. With government introducing free sanitary wear in school to alleviate the effects of not having access to sanitary wear on the girl child, the situation was supposed to have changed,” the girls rights group, Shamwari yeMwanasikana said yesterday.
“However, we continue to witness cases of period poverty because not everyone has benefitted from this initiative.”
A study by SNV Zimbabwe states that 72% of schoolgirls had no access to sanitary pads.