Hear Us, Stand With Us: Zimbabwean Women Rise Against Sexual Violence

Regions: Africa, Zimbabwe

Issues: Impunity, Justice, Rape and sexual abuse

Tags: Elections, political violence, RAU, robert mugabe, violence against women, zanu-pf

THANK YOU to the 1600+ people who signed the petition and the thousands more that joined the campaign on the Hub, Facebook, and Twitter. Here's how the campaign unfolded last week:
*Aug 31: 
WITNESS' Bukeni Waruzi arrives in South Africa to meet with Kuda (from RAU), Memory (one of the women who shares her story in Hear Us), and members of the Women's Coalition of Zimbabwe and IDASA.
Sept 1: Memory and Kuda are interviewed on live TV by SABC (see video here); other media outlets like The Times from South Africa also report on the campaign.
Sept 2: The petitions are delivered to key South African government officials on their way to SADC and they pledge to take the message to the summit.
*Sept 4:
Dispatch from South Africa - New video provides full update of the week.
*Sept 7: RAU publishes an open letter to SADC in the Congolese media as African Heads of State meet in Kinshasa.
*Sept 9: New video from Bukeni thanks everyone and looks forward to the next steps in the campaign. 

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In 2008, political violence erupted throughout Zimbabwe as a result of highly contested national elections. Between May and July alone, local organizations estimate that state-sanctioned groups abducted, raped, tortured, and beat over 2,000 women and girls due to their political affiliations. Local police have ignored these women's pleas for protection, justice, and accountability, and national leaders have been equally unresponsive. Hear Us - a video co-produced by Zimbabwean Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU) and WITNESS - features four of these women who have come forward to demand justice from the Zimbabwean government and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Next month, the SADC summit is being held in Kinshasa from September 2-8 2009.  Help us collect 2,000 (or more!) messages of support to be delivered to SADC leaders at the summit.  Add your voice to the call for justice for the Zimbabwean women - sign our petition, record a video message, tweet the campaign, or leave a comment below.
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Watch Hear Us...

...the story of four Zimbabwean women affected by political violence





*** A huge THANKS to all of the amazingly dedicated interns that worked so hard to get this page up, especially Caitlin Clay, William Pollock, and Opal Tometi!


These brave Zimbabwean women

These brave Zimbabwean women who have come forward are the true heroes of the world. May they find the justice they deserve.

women rights on the face of this earth

Not long time ago we have discussed about violence against the women. I just said "forget about all the holy scriptures" "When God created the women as a puppet for the Men, than I don't wont to live anymore. But I know very well he/she didn't make a difference between a Mann or a Woman. To him we are all the same only in a different order to fulfill this life. But some stupid creatures they using religion or the power restrain the women. One thing God gave all of us the ability to feel, what is right and what is wrong. Don't be silent or ignore the violence against women! Because we have also the right to live with dignity!

Witness to political use of sexual violence in Zimbabwe

It is evident that women are being attacked as an act of war and in a political attempt to silence them. We are witness to these civil participants who are legitimately critical of the existing regime or who are acting in the defense of human rights. The world is watching and perpetrators of violence must be brought to justice in Zimbabwe, and in all places where vulnerable citizens are violated.
Communal action and the strength of women's outrage will prevail.

stop sexual violence

no matter what, violence should not be in this planet.

A Plea to the SADC

Here's hoping that the SADC recognises the horrific consequences of sexual violence, or any form of violence, towards not only women, but also children, is too large to be ignored; and that they take a firm stand against it so that in the future all of Africa's people are safe and free to vote without any fear.
Remember, everyone is entitled to freedom, security and happiness!

disband militia bases

to rape, torture, maim or kill it's an incentive extended by Robert Mugabe's ZANU(PF) to those youths manning the dictator's torture camps.Many women were and are still victims to these bases. We call upon the SADC heads of State to put drastic measures on Mugabe to disband these notorious bases.

Sexual Violnece against women of Zimbabwe is a crime

This is an opportunity for SADC leaders to show activism outside a meeting place. When there are no women's rights being respected, no Human Rights will be protected. Leadership is about correcting wrongs. Let the Zimbabwean leadership apologise in Kinshasa and commit themselves to taking measures to compensate the victims.

Gershom Musonda
Coordinator- Human Rights Education
Centre for Elections and Governance (CEG)- Zambia


People, especially, women, all across the world deserve to feel safe in expressing their opinions and views - politically or otherwise.

the plight of women

I am akenyan lady really concerned about the plight of women in Africa and oher parts of the world. AT just 18 yrs i feel that the pace of abuse is too much and one that cant be tollerated just on behalf of the female fratenity we should stand and and say no to injustice we deserve freedom and our rights should be respected Zimbabwe women dont wait to be humiliated fight for ur rights.

Human Rights

Remember all people are born equal.