[25 November 2023]

When we invest in women and girls, we are investing in the people who can invest in everyone else”, Melinda Gates.



Veritas Women joins Zimbabwe and the rest of the world in commemorating the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Significantly the day marks the beginning of the annual16 days of activism against Gender Based Violence which culminates in the Human Rights Day on the 10th of December. The global campaign offers an opportunity to reflect on progress made with regards to elimination of violence against women, call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination in protecting women against violence.

UNiTE! Invest to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls

UNiTE calls on governments, development actors, civil society, women’s organisations, young people, the private sector and the entire globe to join forces in addressing violence against women and girls .The focus should be on different prevention strategies which stop violence from occurring in the first place, This will leverage key global normative and advocacy platforms to build momentum in collective efforts to prevent violence against women. Every effort invested in preventing violence against women is a step towards a safer, more equal and prosperous world.

Violence against Women and Girls

Violence against women and girls remains one of the most prevalent and pervasive human rights violations in the world. Even though countries have passed legislation to curb violence against women and girls; weak enforcement and discriminatory social norms remain significant problems. Approximately 736 million women worldwide, or nearly one in three, have experienced intimate relationship violence, non-partner sexual assault, or both at some point in their lives. The COVID-19 pandemic, conflicts, and climate change have further exacerbated existing challenges and generated new and emerging threats. Economic insecurity, disrupted livelihoods and limited social protection continue to increase women’s and girls’ vulnerability to violence.

Digital Spaces and Violence

The digital era presents a double-edged sword for women and girls as it has become the new frontier for gender based violence. For women and girls, no place is completely safe. Globally, nearly 60 per- cent of women have experienced some form of digital violence online. They are bombarded with toxic social media posts, hate speech and violent content, or have their images sexualized, distorted and shared without their permission. Not only does online violence dissuade women and girls from participating in digital spaces but it also contributes to persistent gender segregation in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and ICT sectors.

There is need for urgent investment in women and girls by recognising and defining cyber violence for what it is; It is a gendered and intersectoral problem which calls for urgent need in shifting from gender blind definitions to gender based ones to protect women and girls.

UNiTE! Eliminating Gender Based Violence

Violence against women and girls is one of the most prevalent human rights violations perpetrated on humanity. In Zimbabwe, forty- percent of women aged between 15 and 49 years  experienced physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner whereas less than forty percent sought help. The long term impacts of violence impinge on sustainable development and gains that have been made towards achieving gender equality. Gender based violence does not only affect the individual, it wreaks havoc on family ties, societal progress and endangers economic growth.

Zimbabwe has made notable progress in the fight against gender based violence. The Domestic Violence Act passed into law in 2007 gives legal protection to survivors of gender based violence encouraging more women to report cases of gender based violence .There is need to UNiTE!  Invest To Prevent Violence against Women and Girls by educating citizens about rights and responsibilities with regards to violence.

Join us! 16 days of activism against gender based violence

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women marks the UNiTE campaign of activism against gender based violence from 25 November to 10 December—. Advancing collective efforts in the fight against gender based violence is critical for safety of women and girls. The UNiTE campaign calls for global action to increase awareness, advocacy efforts, to share knowledge and innovations to help end all types of violence against women and girls.

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