Photo by Trym Nilsen on Unsplash
Photo by Trym Nilsen on Unsplash

 The Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ), representing non-partisan women’s rights organizations and activists joins the rest of the world in commemorating the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based violence. 

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based violence is a very crucial time for the women’s movement as we challenge violence against women and girls. WCoZ emphasizes that violence against women violates women’s human rights. According to recent studies, almost 7 in 10 women in Zimbabwe experience some form of violence in their lifetime, 1 in 3 girls in Zimbabwe are married off to older men before the age of 18. This is a catastrophic state of affairs, especially taking cognizance of the fact that the Constitution of Zimbabwe has given the Nation everything it needs as far as protection of women is concerned. The Constitution protects women from all forms of violence from public and private sources. The Constitution of Zimbabwe protects women and girls from forced marriages. The Constitution of Zimbabwe protects girls from child marriages. Hence it is our belief is that if women understand that the Constitution protects them from injustices such as violence, forced marriages, child marriages, inequality and discrimination, they have been empowered and are in a better position to demand fulfilment of the promises of the Constitution. If women are well aware of the powerful and wonderful gifts that the Constitution has promised them, they can effectively demand accountability and action towards gender inequality and ending violence against women. 

It is therefore against this background that WCoZ this year will make spirited efforts to bring the Constitution to women and girls, in line with section 7 of the Constitution, which encourages organisations to disseminate awareness and knowledge of the Constitution. In the same vein, we have learnt painfully over the years, that in this fight against gender stereotypes and inequality, there has been a silent voice, a shadow that has been lurking in the dark……the voice of man. There has been a global misconception that women’s rights and gender equality are purely women’s issues and struggles. This misconception is largely attributed to the fact men and boys have oftentimes been left out in conversations centered on gender equality. This time however, WCoZ is doing things differently. WCoZ is changing the rhetoric, and bringing men and women together as allies to take a stand against women’s rights violations in order to improve male accountability to gender equality. WCoZ is working hard to make sure that society understands that women’s rights and gender equality are purely democracy issues, and hence WCoZ calls for a collective action against gender bias, discrimination and violence against women. 

The time has now come for women, men, girls and boys to work together in creating a culture that says no to gender bias and violence. WCoZ calls upon all men and boys, in Zimbabwe and the world over, to take action against gender bias, violence against women and make a change that will bring about lasting impact. WCoZ is therefore inviting men and boys, women and girls in their diversity to join us at Gwanzura stadium on 30th November 2019, from 8am-1pm, and at White City Stadium from 8am-1pm, as we commemorate the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence 

The Women’s Coalition Of Zimbabwe remains committed to fighting for a Zimbabwean society where women and girls’ rights are respected. 

#OurConstitutionOurPromise #chiranganochedu #NgumlanduWethuMinaLawe