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!


There was and is no room in

There was and is no room in the world at any time for a single act of sexual violence, no matter from whom to whom. Even before these crimes began to be brought to light in whatever places in the world, no sexual act involving an unwilling partner was ever right anywhere. The most important measure is, I believe, to relentlessly show the searchlight all over the globe to expose and condemn every such act possible. Perpetrators all over the world must be made to know that there is nowhere where they can continue this criminal behavior, and someday they will thus be shocked awake, if only one by one, into thinking differently about sex and finding harmless ways toward the fulfillment of their own legitimate needs for sexual release.

Stop the violence!!!!. ONE

Stop the violence!!!!. ONE WORLD ONE HEART.

It is disgraceful that SADC

It is disgraceful that SADC leaders tolerate this kind of violence in the region. Stop violence against women in Zimbabwe and the DRC.

justice for the Zimbabwean women

We demand justice for the Women of Zimbabwe!

Violence against women in Zimbabwe

I am deeply hurt and enraged for these women who have sufferred such violence and abuse at the hands of evil cowards who rule Zimbabwe. Shame on the government- do they not have mothers, wives,sisters, aunts and nieces too? How would they feel if their mothers and wives were treated like this?Perhaps they would not care seeing as they no longer seem to have a conscience. I pray that Almighty God heals these women and grants them the justice they deserve.It is time for the governments in Africa and Zimbabwe in particular to realise that violence against women in WRONG, whichever way you look at it.May God truly help these women for their courage to speak and relive the pain they went through and those who committed these crimes MUST BE BROUGHT TO BOOK. They cannot be allowed to think their sins will not be found,after all, God sees everything.Their evil will catch them out.

Rape of land and Women!Down Evil Ones.

The world still sickens me. Violence is not an answer and sometimes it's an interpreter = may they live (experience) the reality they promote with their behavior. The governments need to be exiled to the worst part of the country. We need to stop centralizing power especially to MEN it's destructive. Not that women are not capable of evil. Down with the evil governments.

It's a great shame

In the 21st century with such advanced technology that atrocities continue as they do. Call me simple but it seems that given collective resources of groups and organizations that we should be able to work better coalitions to end this type of barbarity once and for all!

Africa Unite

I'd like to see all of us, as a continent, working together for peace. It's really inspiring to see so many women and men sharing this dream.

Stand with the women of Zimbabwe

We demand justice for the Women of Zimbabwe now!

Perpertrators must be brought to book!

"A nation can only rise as

"A nation can only rise as high as its woman" a quote by the honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. African men need to join women in protesting these atrocities. No one is immune to this. When we allow injustices like this to happen to any group, we are opening the door for it to happen to us, our mothers, grandmothers, daughters, sisters, aunts and sons. Africans have always been respectable people full of grace, honor, respect and dignity. And now we are the laughing stock of the World because we are allowing these disgraceful, evil acts be committed to us. We have completely lost all respect in the World. This is shameful and a disgrace. We were once a people that valued women and the act of sex was sacred and kept private behind closed doors, now look at us. Not only are we raping men, women and children, we have taken foreign customs of prostituting our young girls. This is ridiculous!