“Documentation and Public dialogue an important route to address Violence against Women”
A short film 'MARGINALIZED WOMEN IN JEOPARDY' was screened at17:30 at the Alliance France in Harare during the Women Arts Festival (WAFEST) by Young Voices Network.
The film by Emmanuel Manyati gives an account of the incredible gender-based atrocities experienced by women and girls in Hoyuyu Resettlement areas of Mutoko, the area breaks the record on rape cases and child marriages in Zimbabwe.In that film, a traditional chief openly draws a red line against gender equality.
Violence against women is an obstacle to the achievement of objectives of equality, development, and peace. It violates and impairs or nullifies the enjoyment by women of their human rights and fundamental freedom. The long-standing failure to protect and promote those rights and freedom in the case of violence against women is a matter of concern.
Most cases of violence against women in Mutoko derives essentially from cultural patterns, in particular, the harmful effects of certain traditional or customary practices. Lack of or inadequate documentation and research on domestic violence, sexual harassment, and violence against women in private and in public, impede efforts to design specific intervention strategies. In addressing violence against women, governments and other actors should promote an active and visible policy of mainstreaming a gender perspective in all policies and programs so that before decisions are taken an analysis may be made of their effects on women and men, respectively.
In an interview with this writer, Emanuel explains more about his short film and what pushed him to come up with this film. "Tradition should be a guide not a jailer", he said. Globally many countries are willing to change, having signed the 1979 UN Convention on the elimination of all forms of Discrimination against women and, more recently 2000, the UN millennium goal of empowering women and combating discrimination. Helping countries improve gender equality and ending violence against women is not only important but an international commitment as well.
There is need to start investing in better information and high-quality data. Providing forums to reveal people's experiences with local customs and laws will have important effects, it will help improve the information that is available on the situation of women around the world. It is important to foster dialogue with the public to promote Gender Equality and address gender-based Violence.
By Abel Mavura