“The crime of domestic violence has devastating impacts on women and children and on Zimbabwe’s development,” UNICEF country representative Festo Kavishe said in support of Zimbabwe Vice President Joice Mujuru’s vigorous condemnation of gender- based violence and any cultural practices that put the safety of women at risk.“UNICEF says no, no and no to the horrifying stories of women who go into a relationship with high hopes and good intentions – and find themselves trapped with men who beat, kick, rape and at times kill them,” he added.A combination of an inflexible approach to cultural and traditional practices, an economic downturn that has seen women become the chief bread winners as men are made unemployed, and odious beliefs on HIV and virgins have made gender-based violence frighteningly common in Zimbabwe. Press reports and data collected at workshops and through non-governmental organizations indicate a steep rise in violence against women.To counter traditional practices and principles that include the subjugation of women and acceptance that it is culturally permissible for a man to physically ‘discipline’ his wife and children, UNICEF strongly supports all those calling for the acceleration of the enactment of a law on gender-based violence.“Zimbabwe’s women continue to shine in the face of great social and economic odds,” Mr. Kavishe said, warning that domestic abuse plants the seeds of violence in the next generation.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has urged the Indian government to impose economic sanctions on Sri Lanka till Tamils displaced by the war returned to their original homes and were treated on part with the Sinhalese majority.Jayalalithaa also said Tamil Nadu won`t host the 20th Asian Athletics Championship in July in which Sri Lanka will take part, the Press Trust of India reported. She said more evidence was emerging about the way innocent Tamils were killed by the Sri Lankan military in the final stages of the war against the Tamil Tigers that ended in May 2009.The “genocide in Sri Lanka exceeds what Adolf Hitler carried out in Germany”, Jayalalithaa said. The chief minister reiterated that the killing of the 12-year-old son of slain Tamil Tigers chief Velupillai Prabhakaran was “an unpardonable crime and has moved my heart”. She said Tamil Nadu had decided to host the Asian Athletics Championship to encourage sports “but is also firm that Sri Lankan Tamils be treated with dignity”. “The state will not conduct the championship and it cannot be held in Tamil Nadu. The general secretary of the Asian Athletics Association will be asked by the state to hold the event somewhere else,” she said.