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The following report was presented to the National Assembly of Zimbabwe on 13th
May 2014 by Hon Paurina Mpariwa, MP.

REPORT OF THE CONFERENCE OF WOMEN
PARLIAMENTARIANS ON VIOLENCE
AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS
1.0 Introduction
1.1 The Conference of Women Parliamentarians took place at the precincts of the PanAfrican Parliament in Midrand South Africa on 1st and 2nd November, 2013 under
the Theme: “Parliamentarians Responding to Violence against Women and Girls in
Africa, from Legislation to Effective Enforcement”.
1.2 The Zimbabwe delegation comprised the following:a) Hon. Sarah Mahoka, Member of Parliament;
b) Hon. Paurina Mpariwa, Member of Parliament;
c) Hon. Priscah Mupfumira, Member of Parliament; and
d) Ms. Rudo N. E. Doka, Director – External Relations and Secretary to the
delegation.
1.3 It has been noted with concern that Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG)
is a pandemic of serious proportions in Africa taking various forms, often reflecting
the political, social, cultural and economic diversities of our societies, cutting across
borders, race, class, ethnicity and religion.
1.4 Today, violence against women and girls is increasingly recognised as a threat to
democracy; a barrier to lasting peace; a burden on national economies, an impediment
to sustainable development; and appalling human rights violation. Violence against
women, according to analysts reduces the countries’ ability to harness the full
potential of their citizens for sustainable and equitable development.
2.0 Background
2.1 Women and men of all ages are victims of violence and human rights violations,
but specific cases of these violations are committed almost solely against women and
girls. However, the plight of these women and girls frequently goes unnoticed because
in many different ways across cultures, they are treated with less regard than men.
Africa has had a long standing tradition of unequal power relations between men and
women leading to an extremely high rate of violence against women beginning in
childhood.
2.2 The United Nations (UN) defines violence against women as, ¡§any act of gender
based violence that results in or is likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological
harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary
deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life¡¨. (United Nations
Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women 1993).

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