​16 Days of Activism

​16 Days of Activism

It`s time for Action against Gender Based Violence

94 % reported having encountered sexual harassment...

In Zimbabwe, gender based violence is still a challenge. Zimbabwean NGO, Female Students Network (FSN) recently carried out a national baseline survey revealing that sexual harassment is rampant and that the major perpetrators are male lecturers.

Out of the 2 114 female students who participated through the questionnaire, 94 % reported having encountered sexual harassment in the form of either unwanted or invited physical contact (touching, patting and hugging), inappropriate remarks about their gender or sexuality (including sarcastic criticism of their weight or body parts), wolf whistling, or "favours" such as good grades/marks, extra academic help and study aids, by either male students, non-academic staff and/or lecturers.

  • Gender based violence is a human rights violation that calls for an integrated and multi-sectorial approach if we are to achieve meaningful results. There is need for more campaigns that involve men, as they are also victims of gender-based violence in some cases and largely the perpetrators. Advocacy groups should be heavily involved in activities in order to increasing awareness, and the media should play a key role highlighting the issue, says Naome Boka, information and Research Officer FSN

The survey also revealed that only 4 out of the 21 targeted institutions had sexual harassment policies.

  • FSN recommends institutions of higher education to speedily formulate sexual harassment policies or if necessary, revise existing policies to adequately deal with sexual harassment. These institutions should also ensure that there is a comprehensive action plan to operationalize policies, facilitate communication channels for stakeholders to discuss the implementation, address challenges, barriers, and recommend improvements to implementation as they emerge, says Naome Boka.

Gender-based violence is one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the world – one out of three women will experience physical or sexual abuse during her lifetime. November 25 th marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and the start of a global campaign called 16 Days of Activism.

  • The impacts of gender-based violence can be detrimental both to the affected person and to the society as a whole. Still, the issue gets too little attention. The 16 Days of Activism is therefore an important campaign for raising awareness and mobilizing for action, says SAIHs political vice president Inga Marie Nymo Riseth.

FSN encourage everyone to take action.

  • Regardless of gender FSN encourage everyone to work together to stop gender based violence as it has caused untold suffering in the Zimbabwean community. Take action, not only during the 16 days, but also through the whole year, because gender based violence affects women, men and children on a daily basis, says Naome Boka.

This year, SAIH and Female Students Network, is part of a common exchange project. Together with Patience Malunga from FSN, SAIH Bislet invite you to a screening of the movie "Pray the Devil Back to Hell" at Eldorado in Oslo, December 7th.


Written by Naome Boka, information and Research Officer FSN


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