Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ), a non-partisan national network of women’s rights organisations and activists is concerned about the increasing violence against women and girls and the untimely reaction in detecting, investigating, and resolving cases of such violence within households and communities. In the current Zimbabwean context, the gravity of violence against women is deepening with the majority of the recent cases disturbingly resulting in loss of lives of women, violating their fundamental human right to life, guaranteed by the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
Violence against women and girls continues to be a persistent menace in society which results in the unnecessary loss of lives and further reverses the gains of gender equality for women and girls in Zimbabwe. Overcoming violence against women and girls and ensuring that perpetrators do not go unpunished is not merely an issue of individual rights, but one of broader justice and dignity, security and integrity for all women and girls in Zimbabwe. The right of access to justice for women and to life is essential to the realization of all the rights protected under the Constitution of Zimbabwe and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. It is a fundamental element of the rule of law and good governance. We thus emphasize that a good quality justice system requires that all components of the system adhere to international standards of competence, impartiality, gender- responsiveness and provide, in a timely fashion, appropriate and effective remedies for women to preserve their lives.
Therefore, we call upon the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to accelerate their response mechanisms in detecting, investigating, and bringing to justice cases of violence against women and girls in Zimbabwe. The ZRP remain instrumental in ensuring women’s access to justice as the ZRP sits at the frontline of the criminal justice system. By curbing violence against women and girls in the nation, the Zimbabwe Republic Police will be playing a positive role in further creating a safe, enabling, and conducive environment for women to freely participate in, thus preserving their lives. No human being deserves to lose their life in the hands of another and thus the nation at large must effectively contribute to building a culture of non- violence, detecting rising tensions and peacefully resolving conflict be it in the household, in politics, and in the community at large. //END