According to the Zimbabwe Gender Commission, at least 22 women are violated every day, with one r_ape occurring every 75 minutes on average. This equates to an average of 646 women being violated each month.
The bulk of s_xual offences are committed by men against women, children, and other men, according to the Commission, and one in three girls experience rape or s_xual assault before the age of 18.5 years.
R_ape statistics in Zimbabwe are frightening and on the rise, according to Commissioner Margaret Mukahanana-Sangarwe, chair of the Zimbabwe Gender Commission.
The prevalence of r_ape in Zimbabwe is alarmingly high, according to the data.
They are not excellent at all, and the fact that they are underreported suggests that there may be more cases than what is actually reported among those we have records on, she added.
Many, according to Comm Mukahanana-Sangarwe, are not being reported because of various social, cultural, and religious problems.
“The cases are actually underreported, and this is mostly due to cultural and religious reasons that are influencing this underreporting. There is a dilemma since many cases in our culture include abusers shielded within the family structures, she said.
The Chairperson stated that the scope of abuse in the nation was exposed by a nationwide public investigation on s_xual exploitation and abuse (SEA) of young girls and child marriages, as well as the effectiveness of access to justice and social protections in these theme issues.
The investigation into child marriages and SEA found that the children who were married off were actually r_aped by close family members, she added, adding that the situation was grave.
In the national inquiry, the Commission stated that child marriages, particularly those involving disabled children, and s_xual exploitation and abuse of young girls were systematic obstacles to gender equality and gender mainstreaming.
It is impossible to overstate how bad child marriages are to young girls’ development, health, and exposure to s_xual and gender-based violence.
Therefore, it is the Commission’s responsibility to conduct thorough inquiries into these problems.
When such investigations are conducted, the Commission has the chance to identify a sector or social class that is significantly impacted by the identified barrier, inform the public via government publications and advertisements, and request contributions from complainants and witnesses.
Part of the submissions to the inquiry states that after that, “the Commission will have the discretion to summon individuals and institutions that it deems appropriate to reply to the complaints.”
In Zimbabwe, 31% of girls marry before the age of 18, and 4% marry before the age of 15, according to the Research and Advocacy Unit of the Commission.
One in three girls under the age of 18 is married, according to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat), which reports that 33.7% of girls under the age of 18 are married.
Additionally, according to Zimstat, 2% of guys marry before becoming 18 years old.
4,959 teenage females were impregnated during the lockdown time, according to the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, and over 5000 of the girls face losing their chance to attend school.
The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2019 results, according to the Zimbabwe Gender Commission, also show that child marriage is still a problem in Zimbabwe and affects more girls than boys disproportionately.
Additional evidence includes the fact that child marriage is more common (40 percent) in rural than in urban settings (21.3 percent).
Dr. James Tsabora, an expert in constitutional law at the University of Zimbabwe, said it was foolish to treat rape as a crime committed just against women because in some cases, men are also victims or survivors of r_ape.
“I concur that section 65 of the Criminal Code incorrectly defines rape in terms of gender. It’s a crime that was made up based on an erroneous assumption with no basis in law.
Women have committed r_ape in a number of situations, so this area needs to be reviewed.
“The law should be amended to reflect lived reality because other jurisdictions already offer adequate guidance,” he said. Sunday News