CHRA joins the whole world in commemorating 16 days of activism against gender based violence being celebrated under the theme ‘Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!”. The commemorations come at a time when gender based violence have become a norm and catalyzed by poor service delivery in Harare.
CHRA notes with concern violence against women and children at public water points (wells/boreholes). Women are being harassed, abused and some escaped rape while searching for water. The failure by both local authority and government to address the water crisis has exacerbated the situation as women queue for water at odd hours in most high density areas.
The situation has been compounded by the closure of clinics in the City, women and girls have been denied access to maternal and reproductive health services at local clinics with some lost their lives and children this has been witnessed in at Highfields polyclinic and Mabvuku polyclinic. Closure of clinics where rape victims are supposed to report and attended for post exposure prophylaxis is unacceptable. Rape is an emergency which require a responsive and functional primary health delivery system.
The failure by the government to come up with an efficient public transportation has exposed women to many forms of abuse. We are further concerned that institutions of government have become major culprits in violation of women’s rights such as teargasing of passengers in buses, closure of clinics and poor water delivery. We assert our position that restoration of a functional health and water service delivery system will be a genuine and practical step towards addressing gender based violence in our City.
CHRA implores all tiers of government to genuinely address issues of gender based violence by;
· Re-opening all closed clinics in Harare and providing quality maternal and reproductive health services.
· Improving water supplies in urban local authorities by investing in water infrastructure by building new dams and connecting new locations to municipal water supplies.
· Removing the ZUPCO monopoly that has caused a serious public transportation crisis in Harare that has impacted on women.
· Devolving governmental powers to allow communities to manage their own affairs and come up with local solutions on issues of poor service delivery that has created a fertile ground for gender based violence in local communities.
Source: Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)