via Bulawayo24 NEWS | ‘Lets have 365 days of activism’ says Tsvangirai by Morgan Tsvangirai 02 December 2013
I know we are in the spirit of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence and I am heartened by the way Zimbabweans have come out in support of this noble campaign.
My prayer is for us to make this a 365-day campaign. And it is not only the physical violence we have to stop. The poverty pervading our communities – with rural girls and women being worst affected – is a form of abuse which should have no place in a resource rich country such as Zimbabwe. Of course, we now have a new Constitution that, for the first time, incorporates the Rights of Women, recognising that every woman has full and equal dignity.
This includes equal opportunities in political, economic and social activities. But without tangible actions to empower the women and the girl child, then the Constitution won’t be worth the paper it’s written on. We need a National Child Protection and Safeguarding system that will respond to the social welfare needs of the most deprived and vulnerable children and families, especially the girl child and elderly women.
The girl child and the elderly women in rural areas who are heading large families need additional support for them to cope with the extra-burden of caring for orphans. Because of HIV and AIDS, these groups are heading large families and should receive top priority in resource allocation. But this can only happen if we have a caring government, a government which puts the interests of the people ahead of self enrichment shenanigans.