Following the recent shocking rape of a 4 year old girl in a collapsed grave in Norton for ritual purposes, PADARE, a men’s movement for gender equality, issued a statement strongly rebuking the escalating violation of the rights of women and particularly the girl child in Zimbabwe. The organisation also organised a march in Harare last week to show their concern. The Zimbo Jam publishes the press statement issued by the men’s forum.

Padare/Enkundleni Men’s Forum On Gender and its 65 men’s network countrywide is greatly angered and disturbed by the raping of the four year old girl in  a collapsed grave( Herald, 3 November 2010). This has come amongst other rape cases reported since the beginning of the year which have not been brought to book. RAPE should not be tolerated, this has been used as an instrument of abuse to women and girls and apparently the rapists have not repented.  Zimbabwean culture should not be silent on these cases as they are sexist and against women. Violence should never be used as a way for anyone to get what he/she wants.

We are identifying with men who don’t believe in raping women and girls. We feel that our silence is an endorsement of the act and is collaborating with the perpetrators. As men we are standing up and saying enough is enough, NO to RAPE against women and girls in Zimbabwe and elsewhere. We will continue to examine how we as men have become complicit in rape-prone society and how we can contribute actively to a rape-free society. By taking up action on men raping women, we do not mean to discount the experiences of men who have been raped by women. But because men raping women is by far the most frequent occurrence we are dedicated to taking action on this form of rape. 

We deplore the behaviour of the stepfather who wants to negotiate an out of court settlement with a rapist. How on earth can you marry a four year old? It is criminal. We support Cde YONDO’s effort in bringing this matter up and the HERALD for reporting it. We want to stop all rituals forthwith that encourage use of rape to solve the so called problems. We are calling on ZINATHA to issue out a statement to bogus traditional leaders.

Padare protests against rape

^ Stop the rape! Men and women protest in Harare last week.

Imagine if this four year old daughter was Noku Wamwanduka, the PADARE Programmes Director’s daughter. Imagine if it was your daughter, imagine if it was your brother’s kid, and imagine if it was a relation of a powerful member of the Zimbabwean society.

PADARE notes that our consciousness-raising strategy of working with men and boys needs to be corresponded with social action to ensure that all rapists are brought to book. We will continue to hold men accountable for their actions when they harm women and girls. Men must break the culture of silence; they must speak out against RAPE, oppression and violence against women. We are coming together with a common goal of ensuring a rape free ZIMBABWE.
 
We are mobilising our men’s groups in HARARE to search for MACHISI……….the rapist. PADARE is offering a one thousand dollar reward for anyone with information leading to the arrest of the RAPIST.

We call on all men in Zimbabwe to speak out against RAPE as a form of abuse on women and girls.

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