Policy Report: Zimbabwe
This analysis has found that Zimbabwe’s policies and plans regarding HIV and AIDS offer comprehensive prevention strategies that combine uptake of condoms, roll out of medical male circumcision (MMC) as well as testing and treatment. However, these do not address the link between HIV and gender and the role that negative masculinities play in exacerbating its spread. The tendency to overlook the impact of gender norms in the area of HIV and AIDS can be found in policies dealing with gender-based violence (GBV) as well. GBV is seen as synonymous with women and thus, there is minimal discussion on men’s violent and aggressive behaviour which is often the root cause of GBV. On the other hand, legislation on sexual and reproductive health includes programming that directly targets men, calling them to change dangerous sexual practices such as having multiple sexual partners and under utilising condoms whilst also encouraging them to become involved in the maternal and neonatal health of partners and children. The same level of engagement with men can also be noted in policies related to parenting which encourage equal parenting between men and women. However, both SRHR and parenting policies do not fully discuss the role played by harmful gender norms or strongly emphasise the importance of male involvement. Another important omission is that the needs and concerns of LGBTI persons are not accounted for in laws and policies because homosexuality is illegal in Zimbabwe.