- Jan 20, 2021
Zimbabwe is embroiled in an economic and political crisis marked by human rights abuses, said the country’s Catholic bishops, who were then criticized by the government as “evil” and trying to promote genocide.
According to the chairperson of Zimbabwe’s Gender Commission, 22 women are raped every day in the country, one woman is abused every 75 minutes, an average of 646 women are sexually abused monthly, and one in three girls is raped or sexually assaulted before they reach the age of 18.
Church officials and experts in Africa say domestic violence is rising during government-enforced measures to fight COVID-19. Now, African Catholic leaders want the crimes tackled.
Throughout Africa, church officials are working to fight the stigma that comes with the pandemic. But in some areas, people fear death from hunger more than death from COVID-19.
More than once in recent days, Pope Francis has made reference to the “dopo” of the pandemic, using the Italian word for “after.” Friday, the pontiff said the aftermath will face serious issues with poverty, unemployment and hunger.
For millions of people in the southern African nations of Zimbabwe and Zambia, the next few months will be critical.