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Zimbabwean Women Protest Against Increasing Sexual Assaults

Women’s groups in Zimbabwe protested an increase in violence against women who are deemed “indecent” due to their dress. The women marched the streets and handed out fliers relating to women’s rights and gender violence. Director of the Women’s Action Group (WAG) Selina Mumbengegwi said, “Women are victimized and not respected in their professions, and now they also are being stripped by men when they walk around in miniskirts.”

Earlier this month, the United Nations Human Rights Committee condemned the government of Zimbabwe for human rights atrocities and gender discrimination. The committee noted the rise in violence against women and “the recent occurrences of public assaults against women because of their manner of dress.”

Mumbengegwi cited an incident in March in which the former army chief, Solomon Mujuru, had to be restrained from assaulting a fellow female parliamentarian MP Margaret Dongo. Mumbengegwi said, “Not only is the Zimbabwean society plagued with a high incidence of gender violence in the home, the workplace, and the streets, but violence has entered one of our most respected and highly esteemed institution, our parliament.”

Sources:

Inter Press Service - April 9, 1998

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