WOZA say injury to one an injury to all women

Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) wish to express concern about the manner in which the Tsvangirai family have dealt with the matter of Ms Lorcadia Karimatsenga Tembo pregnancy. We also express concern that Locardia, a victim of abuse is being used by politicians and the media as an object, further abusing her and reducing her dignity.

We call on the family to recognise and respect her as a woman and as a mother and treat her with decency and cater to all her needs as a pregnant woman.

We call on politicians to stop using this unfortunate circumstance to settle political scores as by doing this they are perpetuating abuse.

We call on the media to respect the integrity of the ‘personal’ spaces of people and not publicise this issue in an undignified manner and to refrain from gender stereotyping and demeaning comments.

It is saddening to note the media and press hype about this issue. Why is it so important when thousands of women and girls face this exact abuse every day? It is for this reason that civic society organise a 16 day campaign against gender based violence so that the issue comes to the fore rather than abuse of ‘important’ or ‘prominent’ people. Thousands of WOZA members have been beaten, brutalised, tortured, arrested, stripped, and called by vulgar language but very little comment is heard from politicians and the media.

The work of WOZA and the resultant suffering, the blood sweat and tears of members to build a reputation as a no nonsense movement of human rights defenders must not be misunderstood. We are not at the beck and call of politicians with an agenda to use our voice. We comment because we are affected by the issue of gender based violence – the global abuse of women and girls, to us an injury to one is an injury to all women.

WOZA ask that due respect is accorded our work. We ask politicians and the media to take stock of the abuses we suffer; remember us every day and not only when there is suddenly a need to try to use us weapon to embarrass politicians and settle political scores.

Two leaders of WOZA, Williams and Mahlangu are being dragged to a trial on fabricated Kidnap and Theft charges on Monday 12 December 2011 at Bulawayo Tredgold Magistrates Court, be there in solidarity at 8am.

7th December 2011 For more information, please call Jenni Williams on SA mobile +27 783715665. Or call Jenni Williams +263 772 898 110 or +263 712 213 885 or Magodonga Mahlangu +263 772 362 668 or email info@wozazimbabwe.org or wozazimbabwe@yahoo.com or wozazimbabwe@googlemail.com. Visit our website at www.wozazimbabwe.org. You can also follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/wozazimbabwe or find us on Facebook.