Kubatana.net ~ an online community of Zimbabwean activists

What is in it for you women without husbands?

TOP del.icio.us

There’s been another anonymous advertisement placed in the state-controlled Herald newspaper regarding the Domestic Violence Bill. This time it was signed Christ’s advocate and it reads


Domestic issues cannot be solved by the police and the criminal courts. They can be solved by the father! [1 Timothy 2 verse 11-23 and Colossians 3 vs 8]

If there are differences between husband and wife, solve them through dialogue. If dialogue fails, consult an aunt, an uncle, a friend or involve a pastor, a village head or a chief. [Matthew 18 vs 15-17]

Getting your partner arrested? No! It breaks families.

What about murder and rape of women and children?

Now these are cases for the police.

And what is in it for you women without husbands?

Clearly some Zimbabwean men are running scared, terrified that the violence that they perpetrate with impunity in the home might finally catch up with them.

One of the most articulate contributions to the debate on the Domestic Violence Bill came recently from Amy. Amongst other issues, she comments on a point I raised in my last post – the indivisibility of human rights. Amy says

It is crucial that we keep domestic violence in perspective and resist the temptation of according it secondary importance when compared to state violence. Both are abominable but more significantly we miss the point when we fail to realise that the majority of women experience physical violence NOT at the hands of state actors but at the hands of private actors. Indeed there are parallels between the torture that is meted out by state actors and that which we have allowed men to get away with in the private sphere. It is the beliefs that people hold about violence in the private sphere that lead them to commit violence in the public sphere. Of concern regarding Mubhawu’s statement as an opposition legislator is that he gives a bad name to those who truly stand for alternative justice. If it is indeed the case that those who shout democracy, democracy, human rights, human rights, have a selective view of it, then it is absolutely correct that the electorate should not be fooled into voting for such candidates. Domestic violence has become such a scourge in our society that it is vital that we get people to appreciate that charity does indeed begin at home. We are justified in demanding the highest standards on gender issues from all politicians regardless of their affiliation. Whether Mubhawu’s comments are shared by the majority is not the point. HE has put himself forward as an advocate of people’s rights and we have the right to demand that those who do so are up to the job. The Hansard Reports will be able to give us an accurate account of who harbours misogynistic beliefs on this vital issue of combating domestic violence. Women’s groups will indeed be amiss if they do not ensure that they are not represented by misogynistic cave men. Let us not waiver in being exacting in our standards.

Following the protest by the Women’s Coalition and widespread condemantion in the media, Movement for Democratic Change MP Timothy Mubhawu was recently suspended from the party due to his anti-female comments.

Comments are closed.