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women beaten in Zimbabwe

This alert just arrived in my email. Women were beaten October 27, 2008,as they protested about President Mugabe's delay in forming a new compromise government. The women were on their way to a peace conference in Harare, the capitol. If I were closer, I would join them. Be informed, spread the word. The article is from: Women's Coalition of Zimbabwe, an affiliate of Women Peacemaker's Program, a program of International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR.) Go to the website for more details.
William

Comments

Lisa's picture

Spreading the word

This is some horrible news, William. I hope at least through forums like PulseWire we are able to call attention to situations like these. Please let us know if you hear any updates or of any activism in response to the beatings.

In hope,

Lisa

William's picture

Women need help in Zimbabwe

Hi Lisa,

I received an article from the Womem's Peace Program, South Africa, today which I'll try to paste into this posting.

Do we have members in Zimbabwe who can tell us their needs?

----- Original Message -----
From: Jose de Vries
To: Jose de Vries
Sent: Thursday, October 30, 2008 5:35 AM
Subject: FYI: South African feminists: roll-out campaign of action in solidarity with Zimbabwean women

Dear friends,

Please find included a campaign of action in solidarity with Zimbabwean women and an update from Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe.

Kind regards

José de Vries

WPP Information Officer

October 28, 2008
Cape Town

South African feminists, individuals and organizations are embarking on a roll-out campaign of action in solidarity with Zimbabwean women. This campaign came in the wake of the degeneration of the negotiations of the Cabinet Formation process in Zimbabwe as set up by the Global Political Agreement (GPA).

“We are alarmed that political egos are taking centre stage while there has been a general collapse in provision of basic services like access to clean water and sanitation. Reports of deaths due to hunger have become common-place and the health delivery system has all but shut down. It is time that political leaders are held accountable and put the needs of the people first,” said Jean Beukes a member of Building Women’s Activism.

The campaign of action is also in support of the women of Zimbabwe who have expressed their outrage at the current impasse which has resulted in suppression, harassment and violence. Reports from Harare yesterday [October 27, 2008] were that riot police descended on hundreds of women who were peacefully protesting over the delayed conclusion of the peace deal. At least 47 women were arrested and over 100 were beaten in the city as they were walking to the venue of the talks scheduled to begin in the afternoon.

“As South African feminists, we demand an environment where freedom of expression as a basic human right is possible. This should include an immediate end to all politically motivated violence, harassment and imprisonment. We condemn the arbitrary arrests, beatings and torture of women activists. Specifically, we call for the immediate release of Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu as well as the women activists who have been unlawfully arrested on the 27th October as they gather to pray for peace and say “enough, a new Zimbabwe now!”, said Lucille Kennedy one of the activists involved in the campaign.

The solidarity camapaign supports the call of Zimbabwean women that all political leaders in SADC exert pressure on Robert Mugabe, Morgan Tsvangirai, Arthur Mutambara and their delegations, to set aside their ‘personal/party’ agendas and power games and put the needs of the Zimbabwean people first. That Zimbabwean leaders must move with haste to put in place mechanisms to provide for the following urgent needs:

1. availability of affordable and accessible food

2. provision of accessible clean water and electricity

3. provision of affordable and accessible health services including ARVs

4. restoration of functional education system

5. easy access to cash in the banks

“Freedom of expression must be respected NOW! Zimbabwe belongs to its people, not rulers. The people of Zimbabwe have suffered enough. The suffering must stop NOW!" ,says Mary Magdalene Tal from Women Worldwide Association.

For further information, please contact: Lucille Kennedy (+ 2773 199 0592) / Jean Beukes (+27 83 721 3966)

(http://www.awid.org/eng/Women-in-Action/Announcements2/Press-Release-and...)

Can we help them?
William

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