GENDER-based violence has suddenly shown its face once again, in Zimbabwe, despite efforts by Government, non-governmental organizations, private corporations, and individuals at large, to stamp out the social ill.
One wouldn’t imagine that living in the 21st Century people would still be crying and lobbying against gender-based violence, especially that against women.
The despicable deed has rendered untold suffering to innocent souls who have continually been on the receiving end violence, instigated mostly by spouses, unknown assailants and at some point, alleged state agents, like in case of the reportedly abducted MDC Alliance youth leaders, which however still at the courts.
That case aside, late last week, on the 12th June 2020, Zimbabwe woke up to the news that a 25-year-old Bulawayo woman had been grisly butchered to death, as her body was cut in half from the waist, while somebody parts were missing, before being placed in a drum of acid by the accused, who was later arrested in Harare, as he was on the run.
The culture of silence around gender-based violence has to end.
In South Africa, another young woman, Tshegofatso Pule (28), who was eight (8) months pregnant was found hanging from a tree in Johannesburg on Monday. No arrests have been made.
In South Africa, It is reported that for every 3 hours, a woman is abused, while 51 percent (%) of women in that country have at some point been abused by a spouse one way or the other.
Authorities have been slow to act in terms of the legislature that support and protect women from gender-based violence, which is of great concern, considering that lives are continually being lost and at perpetrators only spend a few measly years in correctional facilities before walking scot-free and go on to target other victims.
Lawmakers should take a leading role in Parliament by advocating for a paradigm shift in as far as a legislature to deal with offenders and penalties for such offenses is concerned.
Non-governmental organizations advocating for women’s rights cannot do the whole job alone.
The fight against gender-based violence is not only a women’s fight, but everybody should play a part to stamp out cancer in society.