Tearfund works with people across Zimbabwe at grassroots level, equipping them with skills and knowledge. This leads to deep seated transformation in communities, which is sustainable and long lasting. Through their work, they became aware of the underlying damage that patriarchy and sexual exploitation was doing to the local communities. The Bishop of Manicaland approached Tearfund, asking for help to address these issues.
With the support of the Foundation, Tearfund were able to start a pilot project in Mutare district, Manicaland, in April 2019. The buy-in of male church leaders to this project has been amazing, largely due to the Bishop’s influence and commitment. Tearfund trialled their church led approach in seven villages and saw significant change: women now able to report sexual exploitation, church leaders condemning it from the pulpit and their communities growing more intolerant of sexual exploitation.
“Women have to respond to the wants of their abusers and have no say, no rights whatsoever, they are fully dependent on their abuser as a matter of life or death”
Solange Mukamana, Tearfund, on sexual exploitation
- Nearly a third of females are married before they turn 18, although this has been recently outlawed.
- Domestic violence is widespread, 40 per cent of Zimbabwean men think it is acceptable to beat their wives.
- Nearly two thirds of women have reported that they have experienced sexual violence at least once
Read more: Tearfund