A report released by Amnesty International describes the situation for Zimbabwean women as “between a rock and a hard place.” Along with struggling to provide for their family in a collapsing economy, women activist are being arrested repeatedly and tortured for peaceful protest against President Robert Mugabe’s government.
The leading group of women activists is the Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA). The object of their protest is the rampant hyperinflation, severe food shortage ,and the bankruptcy of many companies. To punish the anti-government activist, the police has prohibited many from purchasing food, and receiving food aid and health services. Many of the group’s members have been arrested with babies and held naked in the detainment cells.
Other women have shared accounts of unlawful detainment in deplorable conditions and random beatings. One activist was kicked in the stomach by the police while she was two months pregnant, causing her have a miscarriage.
Although thousands are protesting, women are the majority despite continual harassment and intimidation. WOZA and Amnesty International is urging African leaders of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to pressure President Mugabe to observe African Union and U.N. human rights standards. In the meantime, Zimbabwean women have vowed to continue vocalizing the woes of the country and demanding change.
For more information please see:
AllAfrica – Zimbabwe: Amnesty Report Shows Women Activist face Increasing Repression – 25 July 2007
BBC – Zimbabwe’s Women ‘Face Brutality’ – 25 July 2007
Yahoo – Reports Say Zimbabwean Women Face Abuses – 24 July 2007
Yahoo – Zimbabwe Women Activist Face Increasing Repression: Amnesty – 24 July 2007