Commission lobbies for tough laws against GBV

THE Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC) has raised concern over the spike in cases of sexual harassment in the workplace and is calling on government to enact laws that impose strict restrictions on gender-based violence (GBV).

BY TAFADZWA MUTACHA

ZGC is commemorating 16 days of activism against gender-based violence under the theme Creating Zero Tolerance To Sexual Harassment In The Work Place by conducting provincial campaigns at workplaces and universities, and sensitising people on sexual harassment at the workplace.

“We call upon all stakeholders to speed up the enactment of a comprehensive legislative framework to deal with GBV and sexual harassment, in particular. The current legal framework has astonishing loopholes and such a situation cannot continue any longer,” ZGC chairperson Margaret Sangarwe-Mukahanana told journalists.

“Recently, a Member of Parliament complained about sexual harassment in the august House.”

This comes after MDC Alliance female legislators complained before the Speaker of the National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda, over sexual harassment in the House last week.
Sangarwe-Mukahanana applauded milestones achieved on gender parity in the socio-economic, political spheres and on gender-sensitive legislation and policies such as the Domestic Violence Act, but said the nation still had a long way to go.

“It is imperative to note that Zimbabwe has not yet reached where the country should be in terms of gender equality.

“The commission is calling upon all public and private institutions to put in place and maintain a comprehensive policy to deal with GBV. We are working with Parliament for a specific legislation that will protect women against sexual harassment,” she said.

Mukahanana said many victims of sexual harassment, particularly women, were suffering in silence and that her commission was pleading with GBV survivors to report such cases to institutions that offer necessary support, including the Zimbabwe Republic Police.

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