Ending Violence Against Women

Governance and Participation in Public Life

Violence against women continues to be a pervasive human rights abuse in Zimbabwe. The 2019 Multiple Indicators Cluster Survey shows that 39% women reported being physically abused since 15, and 12% between 15-49 years had experienced sexual violence. Intimate Partner Violence is the most dominant form. The COVID-19 pandemic’s lockdown measures had a negative effect on women’s and girls’ safety and security. From the start of the lockdown in March 2020 until early May of the same year, the Musasa National Gender-based Violence (GBV)  Hotline recorded a 90% increase compared to pre-lockdown trend. 94% of the callers were women.

The CEDAW Committee in its March 2020 Concluding Observations on Zimbabwe’s sixth periodic report expressed concern at the high prevalence of GBV; the continued underreporting due to a culture of silence and impunity; the absence of data, disaggregated by age and relationship between victim and perpetrator, and on the sentences imposed on perpetrators; among others. Supporting gender equality and women’s rights activists to create platforms, networks and build social movements to lobby Government on these issues is a key priority for the CO.

All women and girls should live a life free from all forms of violence. UN Women Zimbabwe’s strategic priorities in this area are as follows:

  1. Ensuring implementation of normative frameworks, gender-responsive laws, and policies
  2. Promoting positive social norms, attitudes and behaviours at community and individual levels to prevent VAW including in politics. Engagement of men and boys
  3. Promoting women’s voice, leadership, and agency
  4. Strengthening youth organizations