It is that time of the year again where different parties within the state, Government and other Non-Governmental organisations commemorate 16 days of activism while still bearing in mind that every day the fight against gender-based violence continues.
These celebrations start each year, from 25 November to 10 December which is the International Human Rights day. The history behind this necessary tribute dates back to 1960 with the story of the Mirabal sisters who spoke and conspired against a despot who ruled the Dominican Republic.
This led to their brutal assassination on November 25, 1960 and this day has been termed “The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women” after it was officialised in 1999 by the United Nations General Assembly. This period urges everyone to recognise gender-based violence and its adverse consequences.
It calls for all spheres of the state to organise activities which are aimed at raising awareness on the issue of gender-based violence and for all players to have a united solution for the elimination of this socio-political ill.
The theme for this year’s celebrations is “Leave No One Behind: End Violence against Women and Girls” following last year’s theme which was about maintaining peace at home and in the world to make education safe for all.
This year we have many achievements to celebrate in the women’s rights movement. While as a country we have ways to go before effectively eliminating gender-based violence, there have been many strides which have been taken to promote women’s rights since independence.
One of the biggest achievements that Zimbabwe has made in this journey is the promulgation of the 2013 Constitution which holds a very comprehensive Bill of Rights that effectively promotes the recognition of women’s rights among other rights.
It mandates the State to promote, protect and fulfil these rights whereas the previous Constitution which is known as the Lancaster House Constitution allowed for discrimination based on certain circumstances.