8 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Masvingo Women in Fight Against Political Hooliganism

press release

Masvingo — Women must stand up and fight political hooliganism ahead of both the referendum and elections since they are susceptible to abuse during such processes. Unpacking the provincial women's assembly work plan at the provincial party offices yesterday MDC provincial chairlady Mrs Judith Muzhavazhi called on women in the province to stand up and denounce acts of political barbarism mainly rape.

She said the provincial women assembly would soon embark on a series of rallies meant to promote peaceful elections and political tolerance. "Women have been suffering silently but it is now time for us to speak against political violence. It is clear that women suffered double tragedy in the run up to the feared June 2008 presidential election runoff. It is on record that women were raped and forced to perform all sorts of disgusting acts.

It is demeaning for a woman to be forced into sleeping with someone you do not love. In 2008 we read stories of women who were raped by up to 15 men and we are saying enough is enough. We have to make noise and stand up against political hooliganism, "said Mrs. Muzhavazhi. She said the provincial women's assembly had lined up a series of rallies throughout the province as a starting point in the fight against political thuggery.

The first rally will be held in Bikita West at the weekend. "We are not going back and we are demanding space to express our feelings. We cannot continue suffering in silence and therefore we will fight political hooliganism to the end. We are going to make a lot of noise about the abuse of women by political barbarians.

We are aware Zanu PF youths are planning to unleash a reign of terror and one of their strategies is to silence women through rape and abuse. This time we will fight for our rights. These rallies present a platform for us to condemn all acts of political violence including murder and vandalism. The rallies are also meant to emancipate women who are clandestinely suffering in a male dominated society. Women have over the years been confined to the domestic chores in a very stereotyped manner, "she said.

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