Home » Legal and Judicial Affairs » We Have Been Vindicated – Mini-Skirt Marchers

ORGANISERS of the October mini-skirt march say they have been vindicated by the shock stripping of a Harare woman at the Fourth Street bus terminus by a group of touts over a week ago.

The controversial march attracted scorn from a widely conservative population which felt the organisers were making ridiculous demands when they took to the streets.

The women, who were led by the local feminist group, Katswe sisterhood, were demanding their right to wear whatever they wanted while also denouncing the harassment of women seen walking in revealing attire.

Talent Jumo, director of Katswe Sisterhood, was on Monday among the women’s rights aocates, who thronged the Harare magistrate’s court for the trial of Marvelous Kandemiri, identified among the touts who stripped the woman at Fourth Street.

“When we staged the mini-skirt march, we took a lot of abuses from people who thought we were just a bunch of attention seekers,” she said in an interview with NewZimbabwe.com.

“But after the video of the girl being stripped by touts went viral on the internet, most people have suddenly realised we were after all fighting for a good cause.

“We are actually celebrating because we feel that this process is a direct result of our mini-skirt march.”

“In fact, many people have now come on board and taken leadership on different fronts to fight our cause.”

These, she said, included the local media whose reportage of their march was somewhat unfriendly.

Meanwhile, Kandemiri was remanded to January 12 by a Harare magistrate after he appeared in chambers over his case.

Explaining the high turn-out of rights activists in court, Harare West MP Jessie Majome, a leading voice against female harassment by men, said they have taken keen interest in the case because they found it a good opportunity to bring a stop to the rampant harassment of women by rowdy individuals.

“This is a fundamental women’s rights issue. It violates all known basic freedoms, freedom of movement and expression it undermines everything and even the right to the protection of the law and the right to equality.”

“The conviction of the culprits would vindicate all these rights that l have mentioned. The law must be enforced. It must come down hard on people who want to undermine the law.

“It also has a deterrent effect on would be abusers of human rights. They will stop.”

Similarly, Tendai Garwe, also a local feminist, said the high interest in the case was an opportunity to amplify their voices, which have failed to hit the mark on other fora.

“For the women of Zimbabwe,” she said, “this is an opportunity for us to be heard and to realise that we are coming for the rights that have been side lined for too long.

“This is not just about a mini-skirt issue because if you can control what l wear what else are you controlling? What power do you have over me?

“We are very interested in this case because we are pushing an agenda for the amplification of voice and the rights of women.”

Source : New Zimbabwe

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