MDC ALLIANCE ASSEMBLY OF WOMEN
Speech by MDC Alliance Assembly of Women Chairperson Muchirairwa Mugidho on the commemoration of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence.
16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM AGAINST GENDER BASED VIOLENCE
Good evening to all the respected delegates. It is a great privilege and honour to be invited to this great platform on the occasion of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence (GBV).
The MDC Alliance, particularly the Assembly of Women on the 25th of November 2021 joined the rest of the World in commemorating 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence under the global theme Orange the World: End Violence Against Women Now.
This global civil society initiative was birthed in 1991 by the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute to challenge violence against women and girls. The campaign runs every year from 25 November to 10 December.
As MDC Alliance Assembly of Women, we have also localized this event by creating our own theme to suit our local environment.
Our theme is: “Gender Based Violence: A barrier to gender equality.”
Violence against any human being is a criminal behaviour that violates both domestic and international human rights.
Worse when it’s against a Woman.
As we commemorate this 16-day period, we focus on the barrier to gender equality that has been created by GBV.
We have noted with concern the small number of females who are willing to take up leadership positions mostly in the political field as a result of violence associated with belonging to a particular political party, age group and sex.
These abusive actions undermine the ability of women and girls to fulfil their goals, objectives and more importantly suppress human fundamental rights as provided for in the national constitution.
This has resulted in under-representation of women decision makers.
Women in local politics continue to experience physical, sexual and psychological violence. And that have prevented and limited women from fully realizing their potential through exercising fundamental rights.
We have all witnessed how our three girls, Joana Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova have been unfairly treated for merely demanding a better society. Their rights were abused and are still being abused for the reason of being ambitious young women.
Gender based violence at its worst is realized when women lose their husbands. In some cases, surviving spouses are left with nothing and sometimes homeless as a result of property grab by in laws.
Our national constitution provides for the full participation of women in all spheres of Zimbabwean society on the basis of equality with men.
Section 17.1(a) which postulates that: “the state must promote the full participation of women in all spheres of Zimbabwean society on the basis of equality with men.”
Chapter 4.4.3 of the MDC Constitution speaks against all forms of violence and does not believe in the use of violence as a way or means of attaining any political, social, economic or religious objective. Failure to adhere to the above will attract punitive action.
As MDC Alliance Assembly of Women, we would want to commend various organizations that are working so hard to promote women rights.
Organizations that are working hard to eliminate all forms of discrimination and gender-based violence against women include Msasa Project, Women Coalition of Zimbabwe, UN Women and the Zimbabwe Gender Commission to name a few. A number of conferences have also been held in connection with the above, the likes of CEDAW, The Beijing Conference and many more. We fully appreciate all the efforts being made.
As Assembly of Women, cognizant of our fundamental rights as provided for in the national and party constitutions, we are mobilizing our peers to register to vote even under the current COVID-19 environment.
We are aware of the effects of this pandemic but also fully aware of the effects of not voting which are even deadlier.
We believe in women power. Women, given an opportunity can change the society for better and we believe our contribution towards 6 million votes for our 2023 Presidential candidate, Advocate Nelson Chamisa is key.
We salute all women who have shown resistance under the current harsh economic, social and political conditions coupled with gender-based violence in their communities. None have given up their families. They continue and hang on and by the same token, the Assembly urges all members to remain resolute, steadfast and support the People’s President Adv Nelson Chamisa.
A new Zimbabwe is definitely coming as we continue to fight for a better society under a people centered government led by Advocate Nelson Chamisa.
We have also joined the people driven campaign, #NgaapindeHakeMukomana.
In conclusion I say:
OrangeThe World: RegisterToVote
I thank you