Zimbabwe: End discrimination against women and protect human rights defenders
In 2005, 700,000 Zimbabweans lost their homes or their livelihoods or both during the mass forced eviction program called Operation Murambatsvina. Women were disproportionately affected. Their market stalls were obliterated, destroying their livelihoods. Follow-up government operations that were intended to restore order, such as Operation Garikai, failed to do so. In fact, in many Operation Garikai settlements, such as the Hopley settlement, adequate health care remains unavailable and the lives of women and newborn babies are seriously threatened. Women human rights defenders who stand up against these injustices are frequently detained, harassed and mistreated by the police.
The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) has convened a pre-session working group to prepare for their upcoming review of the status of women in Zimbabwe. Amnesty International’s submission to CEDAW has highlighted the ongoing violations of women’s human rights in Zimbabwe, including violations of the right to work, the right to health of pregnant women and girls, and the arbitrary arrest and unlawful detention on women human rights defenders.
Call on the government of Zimbabwe to end discrimination against women and protect women human rights defenders. This includes:
- Protecting women’s human rights, including rights to adequate housing, health care and the right to work;
- Addressing legitimate concerns raised by women human rights defenders, including reviewing government policies regarding food security and harassment of informal traders; and
- Ceasing all intimidation, arbitrary arrest and torture of women human rights defenders by the police.
To the Hon. Kembo Mohadi and Hon. Giles Mutsekwa
Ministry of Home Affairs
11th Floor Mukwati Building
Cnr Livingstone Avenue/4th Street
Private Bag 7703
Ministry of Health and Child Welfare
Kaguvi Building, Fourth Street
PO Box CY198
Fax: +263 4 729154