By Mitchell Ngwenya
Following a Baseline Survey conducted by Youth invest in Jambezi , Chewumba and Chidobe villages , the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) in Hwange District is set to increase awareness programmes on Women’s rights to villagers in Hwange District as respondents in the survey highlighted several cases of women’s rights abuses.
The survey highlighted that there were several cases of women’s rights abuses in their respective villages especially, domestic violence, rape, child abuse and abuse of the elderly during COVID 19 lockdowns. Respondents also indicated that during COVID-19, access to knowledge on avenues for accessing justice has significantly reduced since the COVID19 induced lockdown was gazetted. Additionally, 40% of respondents highlighted that the inability to attend social gatherings was eroding access to knowledge thus compromising their safety nets as they could no longer meet in their women clubs.
Speaking to Breeze FM , Sergeant Faith Feya said the research has showed that there was an access to information gap.
” As the Zimbabwe Republic Police we have observed that people especially women from rural areas do not have adequate information and knowledge about their rights because they do not have access to information because some are located in remote areas and stakeholders who are supposed to relay the information can not reach the areas. We have also observed that a certain number of the people are illiterate because they either did not have the opportunity to go to school or dropped out of school in early grades .”
She urged village leaders to inform the police or invite them to explain and increase awareness on women rights.
“Community leaders usually have the opportunity to bring villagers together so that we can teach them on their rights. It would also help if the leaders are also educated on the matter and they can be used to spread awareness sine they have the platforms to do so, ” she said.
A councilor from Kachechete Ward , Give me again Moyo , also recommended that such awareness campaigns should involve men so that there are no challenges faced by women as they exercise their rights.
The baseline study was aimed at inquiring the co-relation between Covid-19 and the abuse of women’s rights in the community .A total of 38 respondents were interviewed, 35 females and 3 males, culminating to 92 % of females and 8% of males who participated .