SC 2015-20 - Report of the Thematic Committee on Gender & Development on Gender Violence in Churches

First Report of the Thematic Committee on Gender & Development on Gender Violence in Churches Presented to Parliament in February 2014.

1. INTRODUCTION
Pursuant to continued media reports and public concem about women and girl child abuse cases in some churches, the Thematic Committee on Gender and Development resolved to conduct an inquiry into the Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the religious sector. Section 58 and 60(a) of the Constitution and other laws and policies promote religious freedom and in practice the government generaily respects religious freedom. The Committee noted accordingly that the constitutional rights of churches should be upheld but that these rights should also be enjoyed in a responsible manner without violating the basic human rights of other citizens. The Cornmittee became concerned about cases of women and the girl child falling victims to sexual molestetions involving some church leadership.

2. OBJECTIVES
in its inquiry the Committee was guided by the following objectives;
1. To identify causes of GBV and rape cases in churches.
2. To familiarize with the legal regishation procedures for churches in Zimbabwe.
3. To assess the capacity of churches in observing women rights, combating GBV and rape cases under their purview.
4. To offer relevant legislative and policy recommendations to eradicate GBV in churches.

3. METHODOLOGY

The Committee received oral evidence from a number of stakeholders, namely:
(a) The Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr. M. Matshiya
(b) The Register General, Mr. T. Mudede.
(c) The Zimbabwe Republic Folice (ZRP) represented by Assistant Commissioner, Mr. Chivayo
(d) The Evangelical Fellowship ofZirnbabwe (EFZ), Rev. L. Dube
(e) The Zimbabwe Catholic Bishop Conference (ZCBC) represented by Fr. E Ndete
(g) Zimbabwe Council of Churches QCC) represented by Rev. Dr Zwana
(f) Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) headed by Archbishop. J. Ndanga.

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