Zimbabwe has been in political and economic turmoil for over a decade. The last election results in 2013 were contested by the opposition and saw the end of a coalition government of the 3 main political parties. This instability, coupled with inequality between women and men, has pushed women further into poverty.
Women’s rights in Zimbabwe
Over the years, the government has passed many laws to protect women’s rights but they have not been fully implemented. Women in Zimbabwe are underrepresented at community and national levels with limited opportunities for them to voice their issues or take part in decision-making processes.
Women and girls experience violence both at home and in their communities, including domestic and sexual violence. Those with a political affiliation also experience violence. The threat of HIV in women is increased by violence and inequality in relationships.
- 30% of women experience physical violence from a partner, while 19% experience sexual violence (Source: UN Women 2011-2012)
- Around 39% of seats in Parliament are held by women (Source: Inter-Parliamentary Union 2014)
Supporting women in Zimbabwe
We are working with four women’s rights organisations: Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWLA), Musasa, Women In Politics Support Unit (WiPSU) and Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ) towards:
- Ending violence against women through the justice system and law reform
- Helping women rebuild their lives after violence
- Improving women’s political participation
- Increasing awareness on women’s rights
Making a difference
- Over 22,300 women rebuilt their lives and are living free from violence after receiving counselling, safe house services and support to assert their legal rights
- Campaigning which included our 4 partners saw a new constitution come into effect in 2013 which prioritises gender equality, protects women’s rights in marriage and divorce, and reserves 60 seats in parliament for women
- In the 2013 elections women’s representation increased in the National Assembly from 16% to 32% and the Senate from 25% to 48%
- 200 local women participated in community consultations calling for increased accountability from leaders to women constituents