A ‘silent no more’ movement

Participants to an international conference on human rights abuse in Zimbabwe agreed on a programme of action at the end of the three-day meeting at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, USA.

They agreed to transform themselves into a “Silent no more movement” indicating that they would be proactive on issues of rape, politically motivated violence and poverty.

The mission statement for the movement was to encourage comprehensive and sustainable responses that promote healing, empowerment and resilience of all traumatized survivors of torture and rape in Zimbabwe.

The theme of the conference was “Silent No More: Rape as a weapon of Political Violence in Zimbabwe.” The conference was organized and sponsored by the Kabak Endowment Fund; University of Pittsburgh- based departments: The Global Studies Center; the Department Of Family Medicines, the Department of Africana Studies, the Centre for Minority Health; Department of Administrative and Policy Studies; the Institute for International Studies in Education and Black Women and Health Outreach for Longer Life and Empowerment.

The lead organizer of the conference was Dr. Anne Matambanadzo, research assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.

Some participants came from Africa, Canada, United Kingdom as well as the USA. The keynote speakers included Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office for the Organ of National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration, Senator Sekai Holland; Founder of the Girl Child Network and last year’s CNN Hero Betty Makoni as well as Director of South African based Exiles Forum, Gabriel Shumba.

Dr. Donald Burke, the dean of public health at the University of Pittsburgh, closed the conference by offering support for the programme of action adopted by participants.

Post published in: Opinions & Analysis

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