WOMEN Filmmakers of Zimbabwe (WFOZ) have embarked on a project on eradicating violence against women and girls through mainstreaming women’s audio visual narratives in marginalized urban and rural communities.
WFOZ is a leading women filmmakers’ organization in Zimbabwe founded in 1996 with an aim of increasing the participation and production capacity of women locally and regionally in the audiovisual industry.
They recently presented a report on the screening project held in urban and peri-urban areas of Harare, Chipinge and Binga.
The project addressed specific women’s rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Anchored on the declaration is the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against women which sets the tone for gender equality.
Based on the statistics, physical, sexual and gender based violence where identified as the most problematic issues in Zimbabwe affecting women and girls.
Other issues included child marriages, female genital mutilation and believability of violence against women and girls.
However, with the ongoing violence against women and girls, WFOZ have recommended that Government departments responsible for prevention and protection, that is, health, social security, women affairs and justice to take necessary action against violence against women and girls.
They said there must be awareness campaigns in target areas as people now believe that gender based violence prevails mostly in rural communities.
WFOZ also said there was a need to engage community leaders as most women stay in abusive relationships because of culture.
They said male chauvinism is rife in some communities and even if they know that violence against women and girls is wrong, they cannot speak up because the man’s word is final.
Other recommendations suggested by WFOZ include, socio-economic empowerment of women, more outreach programs, clearance from the Ministry of Education, effects of social norms, poor governance and lack of information and access to violence against women and girls services.
WFOZ community screenings seeks to engage in transformative education processes in the public domain through bringing narratives on violence against women and girls in public spaces in marginalized urban and rural communities.
They also aim to foster the feminist practice of amplifying women and girls voices, discussions and dialogue on ending violence against women and girls through engaging key stakeholders and service providers.