Preventing violence against lone women in Pumula community, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
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The purpose of the study was to assess or investigate the forms, causes and effects of violence towards lone women from Pumula Township, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. In finding these it seeks to prevent violence towards these lone women. It is noted that structural male dominant culture and inequality are the major causes of violence towards lone women in Pumula; this is also similar in Sub-Saharan Africa. Many studies on lone women have been done worldwide and to the best of my knowledge, none that seeks for substantive solutions has been done in Bulawayo. This study was exploratory and qualitative in nature. This was done through a forum, focus group interviews and personal interviews. The data in the forum was collected by an advisory team and the researcher was the facilitator in all interviews. The major method of data collection was the focus group interviews. Also for triangulation purposes, and to complement the focus group interviews, individual interviews were done. Stakeholders’ workshops and lone women workshops were conducted to propose the means that could be used to reduce violence against lone women. Ethical standards were observed during the study. The findings of the study indicate that violence towards lone women is caused by a patriarchal culture and the social norms that make lone women to be stigmatised, ostracised and discriminated against because of their status. The confiscation of their property after the death of their spouses, or divorce, the struggle to shelter and care for their children often causes lone women ill-health and low self-esteem. They also find it difficult to find time for self as they are the breadwinners. It was proposed that the community and the lone women work together to curb violence against lone women and to combat all the injustices that are happening within society. Women empowerment and development can eradicate violence against the lone women.