Yesterday my younger sister shared her experience about being harassed by a Kombi conductor and I thought oh this should be a blog post. The conductor refused to let her out until she gave him her phone number. I know many, if not all, women will relate to this post which is sad because no one should feel entitled to another human being ever and having your personal boundaries invaded like that is so awful especially in public spaces we frequent daily.
Men and women, how do you deal with sexual harassment on public transport? I FREEZE/ burst into tears & I’m trying to find my inner hell beast and bring it forth. I’ve always opposed the concept of living in fear/ or paranoia but I find myself doing just that. It’s so degrading
— heytherekitkat 🍫 (@akna_sam) May 24, 2022
When it comes to the issue of harassment in public transportation, it is so severe that even if you own your own car, you aren’t safe. This is because even just walking past a terminus can get you harassed. My heart breaks when I think about it because I imagine my mother, grandmother, sisters and daughter and I’m like oh WOW this is what society has been doing and will continue to do which is a dang shame. I know some men think that cat-calling and groping at women is a “compliment” but it is not! Please cease and desist. It’s unsettling and downright nasty. No sir, I do not want you touching my arm or any part of me eeew and I’ve seen men pee in public places and not wash their hands and you think it’s OK to touch someone else with those hands ? Not me abeg. Not only do they get you with sticks and stones but the words they spew at you will also hurt you. If they deem your outfit inappropriate, they will whistle, shout and call you all sorts of nasty names.
Also, ladies have you experienced how uncomfortable it is to stand in a ZUPCO bus and have a man breathe on your neck and rub himself against you as a standing passenger? It’s like when you’re out with the girls and you’re on the dance floor and someone helps himself to your body and just stands behind you while you’re just trying to enjoy the night and de-stress. Men need to stop this intrusive behaviour. It’s not cute, it’s really not. There was an article online about how cross-border Delta bus drivers were allegedly raping girls and women. They call it “Vula vala” read the article below #TriggerWarning.
People who have had to hitchhike at the Showgrounds in Harare have probably witnessed or been harassed by touts. This group of men will approach you and start pulling your luggage, yelling, shouting and shoving each other in order to scare you into getting into a bus so that it fills up quickly. The police are very much aware of this rouse. They will be standing in your line of sight and will do nothing. This experience is traumatising. You are forced into a bus you didn’t plan on taking. For the next couple of nights, you will go to bed hearing the voices of those men as they terrorise you into a bus. This happens to both men and women. If you can avoid it, avoid hitchhiking from the Showgrounds or that spot for Mutare buses (Roadport.)
Retweet if you have been a victim of harassment by touts on Harare road in Bulawayo, Showgrounds or behind Roadport✋🏽I remember how at one point they took my bag and roughly shoved me into a bus, I cried😭Somehow I was let go, but how many more are forced into cars unwillingly? pic.twitter.com/UXhrsjlvXj
— Mantate Mlotshwa (@MantateQueeneth) September 12, 2018
In a perfect world, I think that ZUPCO should introduce female buses, buses strictly for women and children because we are not safe. There was an image circulating online of a woman being helped into a ZUPCO with people propping her up by her buttocks. That’s what the transport crisis had pushed people into. The buses are unsafe, not just as passengers but also for the female conductors as well. There is a story that was published about female conductors being assaulted due to the early and late hours at which they commute to work.
#WeInvestigate: Zupco female conductors decry tough working conditions
PRUDENCE Moyo* dreamt of landing a high-flying office job after completing her university studies however, proved tougher than she had envisaged as she struggled to find a job. #Asakhehttps://t.co/Hux8hku4hH pic.twitter.com/TqFbG8wMEC
— CITE (@citezw) June 8, 2021
The late @zupcobus conductor who was shot & killed in cold blood will be buried tomorrow in Buhera. ZUPCO will foot the entire funeral bill. May Her Dear Soul Rest In Eternal Peace😭😭😭#Zimbabwe @MinistryofTID @PoliceZimbabwe @zccinzim @czvinokwazvo2 @begottensun @killerzivhu1 pic.twitter.com/N6LrLw6eSC
— Knowledge Matare (@KnowledgeMatar1) September 16, 2021
For as long as men feel like they own women and that they can get away with anything, it’s us versus them and they have the upper hand. Ladies, get a rape whistle, if you’re in Zimbabwe. You can get them at your local China shops. Buy two in case you misplace the other one, travel in groups or at least try move in pairs if you can for your safety. Pepper spray and tasers are available at the Security Shop. There’s not much else you can do because most of us don’t have the luxury to avoid public transportation altogether.
1 in 3 women experience harassment on public transport. 55% won’t use public transport at night. Depressing stats – do they correlate with the number of arrests for harassment? https://t.co/lSBguouYlu #WTF how is this acceptable. pic.twitter.com/30YCeb84oc
— Sandra Healy (@SanHealy) July 2, 2021