Home » Legal and Judicial Affairs » Rape, Divorce Cases Worry First Lady

The First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe has decried high rape cases in the country perpetrated on women and children amid reports that police recorded 11 000 such cases last year alone.

She also lamented the prevalence of gender-based violence, which she said was the major cause of destabilisation among families. In a speech read on her behalf by the Acting Minister of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development Sithembiso Nyoni during the official launch of this year’s International Day of Families in Masvingo last Friday, the First Lady also lamented the high number of divorce cases.

She said it was shocking that the majority of rape victims suffered at the hands of their relatives.

“The Zimbabwe Demographic Health Survey report (2012 revealed that 60 percent of the gender-based violence survivors are women and girls. In addition, 51,3 percent of girls aged 19 years and below had their first sexual experience forced against their will and according to the ZRP 2014 report, a total of 10 982 cases of rape were reported,” she added.

The First Lady slammed parents who abused their children and urged the nation to seriously think about the implications of such acts on the future of the family. She also expressed concern over the surge in child marriages, a development that was creating a vicious cycle of poverty amongst many families in Zimbabwe. Dr Mugabe said many families in Zimbabwe faced challenges because of rampant poverty, which according to the 2012 Zimbabwe Statistical Agency (Zimstats) report, affected about 62,6 percent of all Zimbabwean households.

“Divorce cases are increasing, leading to family breakdown and single parenthood. In this case, the majority of the children end up being looked after by their mothers, which deprives them of having a male figure in the home and at times these children end up with an identity crisis in the future,” the First Lady said.

She said the Ministry of Women Affairs Gender and Community Development, was participating fully in all the four clusters of Zim-Asset, a Government economic blue print.

She said Government had introduced the Women’s Development Fund that was administered through the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development to make sure that women had access to capital to finance their projects. The First Lady pointed out that Government had also set up an Anti -Domestic Violence Council to stem domestic violence and strengthening the family unit.

Source : The Herald