Zimbabwe: Virginity – Violence, Double Standards

By Lazarus Sauti

“Women, unlike men, have to worry about their virginity. They are taught that their virginity is valuable, even a commodity. Remember the issue of mombe yechimanda; virginity is commercialised, commodified.”A Harare man, Shepherd Musekiwa, whipped his wife as punishment for falsely claiming that she was a virgin before he married her. He, discovered that she was not a virgin during their honeymoon.

The matter was heard in the Civil Court recently after Shepherd Musekiwa’s wife, Patricia, approached the court for a protection order against her husband.

“The main problem is that she lied to me that she was a virgin before I married her, only to find out that she was not after the wedding,” Shepherd told magistrate Barbra Maketo.

He added, “She used to deny me sex before I married her saying she was saving herself for marriage, but she was lying.”

Patricia said she is suffering because her husband had also resorted to “manufacturing” allegations against her in a bid to divorce her and bring in his girlfriend.

“I am suffering in my marriage. My husband bought a whip which he uses to assault me and I have scars on my back as proof of his abuse.

“He is chasing me out of our matrimonial house,” she said, adding that Shepherd calls her all sorts of derogatory names as well as labels her a prostitute.

Daphne Jena, a gender activist, says Shepherd has no right whatsoever to beat his wife as doing so only entrenches negative expectations that society has on women.

Source: theherald.co.cw

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