Timothy Mubhawu, a member of parliament (MP) in Zimbabwe, is insisting that the national assembly reject a bill that would criminalize domestic violence. He stated, “I stand here representing God the Almighty. Women are not equal to men. This is a dangerous bill, and let it be known in Zimbabwe that the rights, privileges, and status of men are gone,” IRIN reports.
The bill in question has drawn widespread support from the international and women’s communities. It strives to address the serious problem of domestic violence in Zimbabwe, where over 60 percent of murder cases are connected to domestic violence, and more than 8,000 rapes are reported annually.
Mubhawu’s sexist remarks have sparked the protests of 35 women’s organizations in Zimbabwe. Betty Makoni, founder of the Girl Child Network, a nongovernmental organization in Zimbabwe, told IRIN, “The MP made some very outrageous and gender-insensitive statements, and we have to express our anger by marching against him – he has made a lot of people angry. It is unfortunate that such statements should come from an official who should be representing both women and men in parliament.”
Media Resources: IRIN 10/11/06; Feministing.com 10/13/06