GENDER BASED VIOLENCE
Gender Based Violence undermines opportunities for women and denies them the ability to fully utilize their basic human rights. In Zimbabwe it continues to be one of the most prominent human violations with about 1 in 3 women aged 15 to 49 having experienced physical violence and about 1 in 4 women having experienced sexual violence since the age of 15.
Young girls are most at risk of gender-based violence, unsafe environments, and face a higher risk of HIV infection. Child marriages continue to be a problem with 32% of girls in Zimbabwe being married before the age of 18 and 4% being married before their 15th birthday. These same girls suffer depression, substance dependency, anxiety disorders, anger, guilt and thoughts of suicide, fear and phobias-frequent vigilance and feeling of isolation all deriving from their past and present traumatic experiences. Therefore there is a critical need to address and tackle the negative mental health impacts of these injustices that affect women and girls and help them to recover from such devastating experiences.
WHAT WE DO
Young Women Magic
A group serving as a platform where young women discuss issues that affect their mental health in their daily lives and how the law and community can help to change our circumstances. We hope that we as young women can change our circumstances by making our voices loud enough. Since YWM started in June 2020, it has brought a huge following and we have since then decided to start university groups where young women can discuss issues that happen around campus that have a connection to GBV and contribute to the systems of oppression that have disadvantaged young women for many generations. The aim is to create a safe space for students experiences these issues to speak up, to create a sisterhood offering support and comfort and to uncover different types of abuses that university students face while finding solutions and raising awareness so as to help students maintain their mental health. The two university groups we have are Young Women Magic-MSU and Young Women Magic-UZ.
We currently several projects running, and these include:
Young Men Against GBV
A group for young men to raise awareness on issues relating to GBV and mental health and help young men to contribute in ending patriarchal systems that increase incidents of GBV.