Breaking the Silence: Unveiling gender-based violence against disabled women and girls in Zimbabwe.
Over the past years, studies have shown that the number of female victim-hood to gender-based violence by the men and boys of our country is increasing at an alarming rate. This phenomenon has been hinged to various societal misconceptions and beliefs such as male dominance and chauvinism which have left the women’s folk under the yoke of their male counterparts. Different cultures and practices of various societies in Zimbabwe have done more harm than good to women and girls in Zimbabwe. Inhuman cultural and religious practices such as female genital mutilation, patriarchy as well as myths and beliefs have crippled the future of women and girls. However, in as much as women and girls have been victimised to gender-based violence, disabled women and girls have suffered a double impact with regards to this social ill. This has been evidenced by their limited access to various services in all facets of society. Disabled women and girls in Zimbabwe succumb to various challenges such as lack of access to equal representation in leadership positions, and economic development hence this has created an unbalanced society that turns a blind eye and a deaf ear to the cries and woes of disabled women and girls in Zimbabwe.
Gender-based violence toll against women and girls with disabilities has been increasing since time immemorial and apparently, it has been dubbed as not less than a war that has been waged. Women and girls with disabilities have been subjected to rape, intimate partner violence, physical abuse as well as sexual harassment. Hence it is high time this pandemic that has raged in our country be put to an end and calls for inclusive participation of both men and women in curbing the prevalence of gender-based violence against women and girls with disabilities in Zimbabwe and the world at large. It only takes one feminist voice to throw these social misfits and perpetrators of gender-based violence under the bus and do away with such social evils in a bid to create a future that is free from violence against women.