Article updated Sunday, February 9, 2020 8:00am (EST)
More than half of women in Zimbabwe have been sexually abused, according to the recent report which shows the extent of the phenomenon in this corrupted country. A survey conducted by Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) found that 57% of respondents had to perform sex acts in exchange for work or medical care, for example. Not only that, some were even asked to do so when they came to enroll their children in educational institutions.
In Zimbabwe, it turns out, giving “sexual pleasure” is part of the culture of bribery and women with no means – who have no money to pay for such and other services – are forced to sell their bodies. Unfortunately, almost no one reports the harassments – out of fear that the other side will take the revenge or they just think the report will not really change anything in reality.
Corruption is so common that even police actively ask for bribes. Both male and female service providers expect bribes.
Some of the respondents in the survey claimed that the judicial system was “too masculine” and that the police officers were “part of the chain of corruption” and, therefore, most prefer not to report such cases to the authorities. According to one respondent, “Even the police officers require a form of payment to help. They want ‘fuel’ for the investigation.”
In recent years Zimbabwe has taken first steps to promote gender equality – but, regardless of the above disturbing data, it is still far behind in the United Nations Gender Inequality Index.