Sexual violence against women has become a political tool to suppress dissenting views in Zambia The brutal beating and incarceration of the Director for Komboni Radio is unwarranted but not necessarily shocking.

However, what is shocking is that she was sexual abused in the process – she was stripped naked!

What has this got to do with the conduct of police duties? What type of society tolerates this type of behavior from its state agents? Would President Lungu tolerate this type of inhumanity if it involved his wife or daughter? No, God forbid! No woman deserves to be violently stripped naked. It is a worst form of insult; it is repulsive and should not be tolerated.

Under President Lungu’s leadership, we notice a worrisome increase in politically and state induced cases of sexual abuse against women. PF cadres have sexually harassed women with impunity. Yet law enforcement has been absent, passive or even indifferent. Today we have a situation where the law enforcement agents themselves have taken liberty to sexually violet the Director of Komboni Radio. Tomorrow any woman who exercises her civil or political rights will have to reckon with a similar fate. Zambia is rapidly becoming a society under which sexual violence is becoming a systematic tool for suppressing dissenting views of women.

Unfortunately, this type of sexual violence directed at women has a very fertile environment in Zambia.

Our society is still male dominated, patriarchal and chauvinistic. The pecking order puts women in the rank of second-class citizens. Despite the 52 years of political independence, Zambian women are yet to experience their true liberation. Yes there are cosmetic changes here and there, but the majority of our working class and peasantry women are still living the lives of slaves under male chauvinism.

Even within our economic and political elite, a woman is largely viewed and treated as an appendage to some male supremacy. We live in an archaic and sick society with little regard for the dignity of our own mothers, sisters, female relatives and citizens.

The perpetrated sexual violence against women in public space should not be tolerated in any 21st century society!

President Lungu and his government are taking our homeland in a highly retrogressive direction. He has to be stopped. One does not have to be a socialist to see the vanity of this development. Any concerned citizen, Christian, woman, man and child will feel the pain that the Director of Komboni Radio had to endure. She was merely exercising her right, but ended up being subjected to the worst form of humiliation for any woman.

How long can we all stand by and see our women folk humiliated this way? Is this democracy? Is this what Zambia stands for?

 

 

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