Mugabe campaigns: Electing to Rape

AIDS-Free World’s December 2009 report, Electing to Rape: Sexual Terror in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, demonstrated that the mass rape, perpetrated by Mugabe’s supporters and ZANU-PF party members, rose to the level of crimes against humanity.

“.... When entire communities are targeted for rape, societal collapse ensues. Women cease to function, afraid to leave home, terrorized in equal measure by threats of rape and of its long-term, destructive aftermath. Ironically, among the few men who have stopped to analyze the unique, destabilizing power of rape are those who use it as a strategy, especially during armed conflict and political upheaval, to control civilian populations and maintain power.

They know it’s easy to conscript impoverished men and boys raised in sexist societies to “take charge” of women in exchange for small pay. They know that deploying rape brigades is cheap and expeditious: no heavy weaponry, training, or maneuvers. They know that targeting women breaks the backbones, the will, and the cohesion of communities, leaving them vulnerable. Most crucial, they know that the world is blind to women—that diplomats, journalists, peacekeepers, and aid workers remain largely oblivious as campaigns of sexual terror unfold around them, and that even eyewitnesses to systematic gang rape will mistake it for spontaneous opportunistic sex.

Robert Mugabe is among the world’s diabolical masterminds of sexual terror. He understands gender; he understands rape. He understands impunity. It is time he understood justice.”

To read the full report, click on the following link: