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Women's Group Demonstrates Against Gender Violence In Bulawayo, Zimbabwe


Members of the activist group Women in Zimbabwe Arise and their male counterparts marched Tuesday in Bulawayo, the country's second city, to join the international human rights campaign called "16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence."

The 16 days referenced by the campaign include International Women’s Human Rights Defenders Day on Nov. 29 and World AIDS Day on Dec. 1.

Though police have in the past energetically and sometimes forcefully broken up the group's demonstrations, organizers said authorities quietly dispersed the protest and asked the demonstrators to postpone it until later in the week when government-sanctioned demonstrations against gender violence were to take place.

WOZA National Coordinator Jenni Williams told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that when the demonstration began, a senior police official in a "very restrained" manner asked the protesters to come back on Wednesday.

But Shepherd Ndlovu, a member of the WOZA consort group Men of Zimbabwe Arise, said another explanation for the muted police response was that many officers had rushed off to buy scarce sugar which was being delivered to local stores.

The activist group was also marking the one-year anniversary of its launch of what it calls a "People’s Charter," which led to the arrest and beating of many members.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...

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