The Sunday Mail
CIVIC organisations have called upon Government to avail empowerment projects for women with disabilities in order to eliminate gender-based violence (GBV).
Speaking at a virtual meeting hosted by Deaf Women Included (DWI) on September 9, the chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises, Honourable Chido Mudiwa said failure to address issues impacting the well-being of women especially those with disabilities, perpetuates poverty and GBV in communities.
“The Committee, as part of its work plan, has been seized with the need to curtail GBV in the country.
“Social discriminations such based on gender and disability, increase the vulnerability to GBV for men, women and children with disabilities,” she said.
“A total of 6 832 GBV reports have been recorded by the Musasa Project, of which 90 percent of cases involved intimate partners.”
According to the Musasa Project, GBV cases have increased across the country since the commencement of the Covid-19 lockdown measures in March 2020, rising by 70 percent.
SADC Parliamentary Forum director corporate governance Ms Clare Musonda said they are collaborating with various partners to develop a Regional Model Legislation on gender-based violence.
“This process began with a situation analysis and research to understand the current legislative landscape in the SADC region,” Ms Musonda said.
“The mandate of the SADC-PF thus includes developing prototypes for parliamentarians to assist them in executing their mandated roles.”
DWI executive director Ms Agnes Chindimba said, even though both men and women with disabilities experience GBV, women and girls with disabilities are at an increased risk.
“Women with disabilities are ten times more likely to be sexually assaulted than women without disabilities and they are almost without exception denied the right to make decisions about their reproductive and sexual health, increasing their risk of unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection as well as sexual violence.”