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Zimbabweans See Gender-Based Violence As The Most Important Women’s-Rights Issue

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Say physical force is never justified Gender-based violence is the most important women’s-rights issue that Zimbabweans want the government and society to address, many citing it as a common problem in homes and communities, according to the latest Afrobarometer survey.

 

 

 

Most citizens say it is never justified for men to use physical force to discipline their wives, a view that is shared across all key demographic groups and provinces. In addition, most say gender-based violence is a criminal matter that requires the involvement of law enforcement authorities, rather than a personal affair that should be handled within the family.

 

 

Key findings

 

▪ Gender-based violence (GBV) tops the list as the most important women’s-rights issue that Zimbabweans want their government and society to address, followed by too few women in influential government positions and unequal rights of property ownership and inheritance (Figure 1).

 

 

▪ More than half (52%) of citizens say GBV is “somewhat common” (35%) or “very common” (17%) in homes or in the community (Figure 2).

 

 

 

o More women (56%) than men (47%) hold this view. It is less widely shared by older respondents (40%), citizens with post-secondary education (45%), and those experiencing no or low lived poverty (43%) (Figure 3).

 

 

 

▪ More than six in 10 respondents (61%) say domestic violence is a criminal matter whose resolution requires the involvement of law enforcement agencies, compared to 37% who see it as a private matter that needs to be handled within the family (Figure 4).

 

 

 

▪ Nearly eight in 10 Zimbabweans (78%) say it is “never justified” for a man to use physical force to discipline his wife (Figure 5).

 

 

 

o Women are more likely than men to say this behaviour is never justified (83% vs. 73%), as are urbanites compared to rural residents (91% vs. 71%).

 

 

 

Opposition to the use of physical force increases with respondents’ education level, ranging from 64% among those with primary schooling or less to 89% among those with postsecondary qualifications.

 

 

Younger citizens (79%-80% of those aged 18-55 years) are more likely to see it as never justified than their older counterparts (70% of those over 55) (Figure 6).

 

 

 

o Majorities in all provinces say it is never justified for men to physically discipline their wives, ranging from 66% in Mashonaland East to 97% in Harare (Figure 7).

Robert Tapfumaneyi