Advocating and Lobbying for Legislation Against Domestic Violence Using the Rights Based Approach   Paper Present

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What is WCoZ. Network of prominent women rights activists and forty (40) women's organizations with national structures. A forum where women meet to engage in collective activismCentral role is to provide a focal point for joint WCoZ brings females from diverse backgrounds to collectively advocate for the attainment and enjoyment of their rights. .

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1. Advocating and Lobbying for Legislation Against Domestic Violence Using the Rights Based Approach Paper Presented by Netsai Mushonga, National Co-ordinator of Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ)

3. What is WCoZ Organisational members of the Coalition work in diverse fields including health legal aid access to education, gender based violence, torture, skills training, poverty reduction, research, property rights and governance issues.

4. What is WCOZ The Coalition has chapters in Bulawayo, Masvingo, Gweru and Mutare and is about to embark on constituency building exercise to establish a chapter in provinces of Zimbabwe Women face insurmountable challenges and the trick is to approach issues together. There is power in numbers.

5. Goal of WCoZ Full and equal enjoyment of rights and freedoms by women and girls

6. Purpose of WCoZ To achieve gender equity and equality through the creation of a forum and space for women to meet in solidarity, for the initiation of and participation in strategies and actions for collective lobbying and advocacy, information sharing, monitoring and evaluation of women’s achievements.

7. Key Result Areas (KRAs) of WCoZ Co-ordination Provide a focal point for activism that brings women from diverse backgrounds to collectively advocate for the attainment and enjoyment of their rights. Mobilize women and build their capacity to articulate their demands.

8. KRAs of WCoZ Lobbying and advocacy Undertake researches on topical issues affecting women. Lobby targeted policy makers. Mobilize women to engage in local level lobbying and advocacy.

9. KRAs of WCoZ Fundraising Seek innovative ways of fundraising internally and externally. Information and publicity Facilitate information exchange among members and the public Profile the WCoZ through disseminating information on member activities and that of the WCoZ

10. KRAs of WCoZ Strategic alliances and partnerships Establish and strengthen existing networks/alliances nationally, regionally and internationally Mobilize international women’s networks to support identified issues in Zimbabwe Participate in international campaigns affecting women and girls

11. Priority areas of WCoZ Support enactment of legislation to protect the rights of women and girls Awareness raising on positive living and access to treatment Retention and facilitation of girl child education through intervention Advocacy and lobbying around issues of Operation Murambatsvina/Restore Order

12. Culture of violence against women project 1996 - 2006 International, regional and national instruments that support demands to prevent and address GBV International Bill of Human Rights Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or punishment 1984 1997 SADC Declaration on Gender and Development 1993 United Nations Declaration on Violence Against Women CEDAW 1979

13. Continued African (Banjul) Charter on Human and People’s Rights (1981) AU Protocol on Women’s Human Rights (2003) National Gender Policy (2004)

14. The Origins of Women’s Movement 1980 women rights NGOs sprung up in large numbers in response to rampant gender discrimination and inequality. Pre-independence women organised in economic empowerment groups Did not challenge the status core. Pre-1980 women minors and did not own property KWA, Ruwadzano, Savings Clubs Position of women challenged by their participation in the liberation struggle alongside men.

15. Origins contiued WAG militant rights organisation Set up in1983 in response to harassment and limited freedom of movement of women Dramatized when 6000 women were arrested by the police for walking during the night under the infamous, “Operation Chinyavada.” Musasa Project was set up provide counseling to abused women in 1988. ZWRCN, WILDAF, WLSA, WASN, ZWWA were formed to challenge the status quo and demand women and girls human rights

16. Origins continued Huge strides made from 1980 -1995 in economy Women had access to education and made inroads in proffessional fields Women’s movement became stronger and stronger. Sense of sisterhood grew National Conventions were held for women and sharing and strategic planning for the women’s movement.

17. Legislation passed to support women’s human rights The Legal Age of Majority Act - 1982 The Inheritance Act Equal pay Act Labour Relations Act Matrimonial Causes Act Constitutional Amendment number 14 Constitutional Amendment number 17 Sexual Offences Act

18. The Culture of Violence Against Women Project The Culture of Violence Against Women Project started in 1996 Musasa made an Action Research (AR) by AR interviewed a representative sample of one thousand (1000) women of 16 years and older The AR was held in the Midlands Province where women of all languages and ethnicities are found.

19. Aims of the Research Find the gravity of the problem of domestic violence Discover effectiveness of traditional/social methods of dealing with the problem Effects of domestic violence on women and the society in general Raise awareness of the illegality of domestic violence under international law Investigate possible ways of addressing the problem from the affected population Use the research to inform activities to prevent and stop domestic violence in Zimbabwe

20. Findings of the research AR found domestic violence (DV) was rampant DV was impinging on women’s human rights to security, freedom, economic wellbeing. Research revealed that 42% of women mental/psychological violence, 39% suffer economic violence, 37% suffer psychological violence, 32% suffer violence of a physical nature. Sample of 1000 women interviewed only 15% of the women were not suffering any form of violence. AR showed women were suffering gruesome violence at the hands of their partners and families.

21. Participation and Consultation The women and communities who participated in the AR recommended that Zimbabwe should have a law that addresses domestic violence. Musasa Project shared the results of the AC with other women’s NGOs, government and civic society. The Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe decided to take up the issue for advocacy and lobbying at the national level.

22. Participation and consultation 2nd phase was a nationwide consultation of all stakeholders by Musasa Project. These included soliciting input from government ministries, NGOs, traditional leaders, churches, men, women, children and the general public. All stakeholders informed the drafting of the Domestic Violence Bill.

23. The role of the Women’s Movement Mobilised women and policy makers to support the campaign WCoZ has lobbied, advocated and negotiated with policy makers for the passing of the DVB into law Musasa Project with support of WCoZ made a petition with 1 000 000 signatures for the passing of the Bill in 2004 The AGMs of the WCoZ identified the DVB as a priority area. WCoZ intensified the campaign

24. The role of the Women’s Movement WCoZ has held public meetings with stakeholders Lobbied policy makers on the need for a comprehensive law to deal effectively with gender based violence. Breakfast and evening meetings with MPs and Senators

25. Holding workshops, symposiums, meetings with civic society to raise awareness of the bill Information dissemination on the campaign through e-coalition, news updates etc Publicity campaign in newspapers, TVs, radio talk shows, adverts and billboards in support of the passing of the bill

26. What survivors did Gave testimonies to show the magnitude and types of domestic violence in our communities Made recommendations to the government drafters on how to protect victims and survivors of abuse Reminded government of their obligation to protect the human rights of citizens in international law. Assisted to reveal the magnitude and gravity of the problem of domestic violence At all stages survivors have spoken out clearly on the need for legislation to protect them from violence

27. Role of the survivors Survivors started their own networks for counselling and support and spoke out bravely Assisted other victims to speak out Pressured their members of parliament to support the passing of the bill. Spoke directly to their MPs before giving a testimony and appeal to these to support the bill Survivors in the movement spoke out We spoke out about our experiences to policy makers to convince them of the need for a law. Marched against three MPs who opposed the passing of the DVB and said it was a diabolic piece of legislation in October 2006

28. Negative effects Women human rights defenders are attacked in the media by male abusers. Their names are maligned and they are given bad labels. Men have also tried to attack women rights activists physically. Women who break the silence of violence are threatened by the perpetrators Married women who speak out about rape risk losing their marriages

29. Negative Effects Women who have broken the silence have had to live in hiding since abusers have threatened to kill them. Women and girls who are raped are usually labelled as loose women by society Women in the movement are perceived as “bad women” too aggressive and trouble makers. Musasa Project which offers shelter has been labelled home breakers.

30. Dealing with the threats WCoZ has always expressed solidarity with women rights activists under attack. WCoZ 40 organisations and 200 individuals. Targeting becomes difficult. When an activist is under attack we investigate ways of protection including making the threat public or seeking safer shelter. We have consistently used the public media to dispel some of these myths relating to women’s rights We have reached out to work with male leaders and male role models to spread education on different aspects of women’s rights.

31. Concrete Gains Created the women’s movement in Zimbabwe. Women discovered the power of working together. Women of Zimbabwe developed the women’s charter which is a booklet on their constitutional and human rights demands. Used as an advocacy tool at all levels Raised awareness of women’s human rights and the challenges that women face

32. Concrete Gains Provided a platform for sharing information Provided a focal point for women’s activism nationwide. The movement has acted on critical issues such supporting potential women leaders, auditing gender policies of political parties and made presentation to human rights bodies The capacity for advocacy and lobbying for women’s human rights multiplied during this process

33. Legislation for women in pipeline Legislation in the pipeline Domestic Violence Bill Ratification of the AU Protocol on Women’s Human Rights Repeal of Section 23 of the National Constitution Domestification of CEDAW and the AU Protocol on Women’s Human Rights

34. Conclusion on RBA Approach RBA approach has made us stronger. When we consult and raise awareness we also educate and work together. This is how the WCoZ was created when we discovered the power of coming together as women of Zimbabwe and articulating our demands. We have learned to demand from the RBA approach. All of our rights are guaranteed in international law and the governments should enact laws to safeguard these and implement.

35. Conclusion One of our member organisations has initiated gender budgeting as a nationwide campaign to force the government to allocate resources to women’s issues like health, education, addressing domestic violence etc. Mobilising women to support this initiative As we soldier in advocating for our human rights, the only very clear way forward is doing it as a movement and demanding what should rightfully be ours.

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