Gender-based violence a silent pandemic

By Memory Chamisa

AS the country gears up for Women’s Day, which will be celebrated this Tuesday, gender-based violence, which has been described as a silent pandemic, remains a major source of worry with women mostly at the receiving end.

Like the adage “Musha Mukadzi, Umuzi Ngumama”, the presence of women in the home makes a big difference, the same as their absence.

Be it on the economic, political and social fronts, women have courageously developed their homes and the country at large, despite an array of challenges including gender-based violence.

Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Minister, Honourable Sithembiso Nyoni says the alarming figures that have been recorded since the establishment of one-stop-centres across the country are disheartening.

“The numbers we have recorded since the one-stop centres were established are very painful and shocking as at one point we recorded over 1 000 cases. Worse still, during the lockdown, most women were abused by their supposed protectors,” she said.

Minister Nyoni also spoke on the importance of celebrating achievements by women, especially as the entire globe marks International Women’s Month.

The event starts with a Commemoration March from Africa Unity Square in Harare.

There will be exhibitions by about 100 women and organisations and this will not end tomorrow, but will continue throughout the month.

As the nation celebrates grandmothers, mothers, sisters and daughters, the government also continues to empower them with various programmes being implemented in ensuring that no woman is left behind.