In the 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence is an international campaign that seeks to eliminate violence posed to women and children around the world and Zimbabwe is not an exception as women and girls are victims of violence.

16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence

This campaign runs from the 25 of November to the 10th of December every year. These 16 Days of Activism campaign discourage the use of violence towards women and girls. In as much as this campaign is run every year, incidents of violence towards women and girls continue to rise. Just last week MDC, Alliance female MPs were physically abused by the police because they did not stand up for the Head of state as he walked in Parliament. “In this parliament as women it is difficult to stand up and debate because every time we stand up we are always told that we are sleeping with Chamisa,” said Thabitha Khumalo as she narrated their harassment in parliament.

Female parliamentarians continue to be abused in Parliament

In addition, in today’s Parliamentary Session Chinotimba openly called Thabitha Khumalo a prostitute. This clearly shows the verbal abuse that women face as they stand for what they believe in. It appears as if women are given a fair play in the political playground but when they challenge their male counterparts they are bashed for it. Just as much as many organizations have lobbied for the equality of women in all spheres. It will always be an issue for as long women are not given the ground to perform to their full potential.

This depicts that women are always subjected to all forms of violence in all spheres of life. The awareness that is spread everywhere goes to waste when women are abused when they are supposed to be representing their fellow women and males in the parliament.

Will gender equality ever be achieved?

Ordinary women are also abused in various Zimbabwean societies. Just last month, vendors were chased out of the CBD and ordered to relocate to the Coca-Cola selling area along Seke Road. As if that was not enough, the police started chasing the vendors at the “designated area’, “We were selling at Coca-Cola but the police chased us away but as soon as the male vendors bribed the police they took our space in no time.” Said Abigail Taibo who claimed to have witnessed the incident happening. The male vendors had to pay for a selling spot but the women who did not offer anything were chased away.

Women vs Men

It seems like the element of gender equality will never be put to full practice. Patriarchy will remain a hovering bee that will continue to accentuate the assumed  weaker nature of women in comparison to their male counterparts. Will this year’s 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence change the way women are treated?