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Zimbabwe’s Failing Economy Crippling Fight Against Domestic Violence

  • Ntungamili Nkomo

Nyaradzo Mashayamombe (second left), executive director of Tag a Life International and a fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy, at a domestic violence seminar convened by the Center for International Private Enterprise in Washington DC.

Nyaradzo Mashayamombe (second left), executive director of Tag a Life International and a fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy, at a domestic violence seminar convened by the Center for International Private Enterprise in Washington DC.

The campaign against gender-based violence in Zimbabwe has faced numerous obstacles in the past but there is a new and even more serious challenge - the failing economy.

Civil society organizations and the government have tried over the years to eradicate domestic violence with little notable success.

And now the obtaining economic challenges are complicating the campaign, according to activist Nyari Mashayamombe, executive director of Tag a Life International and a fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy.

Speaking at a domestic violence seminar by the Center for International Private Enterprise in Washington DC, Mashayamombe observed that there was a symbiotic relationship between gender violence and the economy.

And in the case of Zimbabwe, the poor state of the economy means most women are vulnerable.

Mashayamombe said the starting point in fighting gender violence should be the improvement of the economy and the empowerment of women and the girl child.

Speaking at the same event, U.S State Department coordinator for the Western Hemisphere, Susan May agreed with Mashayamombe that many women find themselves at the mercy of men because they lack economic independence.

She recalled how she, working with the U.S State Department, engaged women in Papua New Guinea and empowered them to improve their lives.

Another panelist Jumaina Siddiqui of the Institute of Peace, talked about the challenges faced by women in Pakistan, where the Taliban discourages girls from going to school.

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