The 23rd of November 2012 marks the first day of 16 days of activism against Gender Based Violence (GBV). This year Zimbabwe unites with the rest of the world under the global theme “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge all forms of Gender Based Violence and End Violence against Women!” Gender-based violence is usually committed against women and girls and although sexual violence against men and boys also occurs there are reportedly fewer cases. GBV is an umbrella term for any harmful act that is perpetrated against a person’s will and that is based on socially ascribed (gender) differences between men and women. The nature and extent of specific types of GBV vary across cultures, countries and regions. Examples include rape, sexual exploitation and forced prostitution; domestic violence; trafficking; forced or early marriage; and harmful traditional practices, such as female genital mutilation and honour killings. Lately the media has been reporting cases of domestic violence, highlighting its prominence in Zimbabwe.
It is therefore important for Zimbabweans to familiarise themselves with the current laws on GBV and encourage policy makers to continuously review these laws to combat GBV. We all have a role to play in raising the visibility of Gender Based Violence and prioritising the prevention of violence against women, girls and men. CHANGE BEGINS WITH YOU TODAY!!