Cleaning-up gender based violence in Bindura

Heal Zimbabwe in collaboration with the Bindura Municipality, on 2 December 2013 held a Clean-up campaign at Chipadze Shopping Centre in Bindura, in commemoration of the 16 Days of activism against gender based violence. The commemorations are held every year starting from 25 November to 10 December. This year's theme is “From peace in the home to peace in the world: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence against Women!”

100 local women from Chipadze and Chiwaridzo Townships gathered to raise awareness on the need to stop gender based violence in the area. Women of all ages, from different churches and political affiliations came together and spent the day cleaning up Chipadze shopping centre. The cleaning process symbolised the cleaning out of all forms of gender based violence in Bindura. In 2008 Mashonaland Central recorded the highest number of politically motivated violations and among the victims were women who were sexually abused, murdered, displaced or assaulted.

During the clean up exercise, the women distributed fliers to members of the public that had a message encouraging communities to fight against gender based violence. They also distributed white ribbons, which symbolise peace. They also took time to explain to the public what 16 days of activism against gender based violence entails. The campaign was also supported by the Bindura Municipality, Health Department which supplied women with clean up materials to use during the event.

Heal Zimbabwe is advocating for 365 days of activism against gender based violence in Zimbabwe and the world at large instead of just 16 days. This would ensure total eradication of all forms of violence in Zimbabwe. Over the years, women in Zimbabwe, and Bindura included, have suffered various forms of violence. The forms of violence have varied from political violence, domestic violence, economic deprivation, sexual harassment, and assaults among other forms of violence. Gender based violence impacts greatly on women’s health, emotional and psychological well-being.

The campaign objectives were to raise awareness among residents, men, women and youths about the negative effects of gender based violence in the community and also to empower women to stand against all forms of gender based violence. The process also gave women a chance to share their experiences and how they overcame.

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