Zimbabwe has recorded an unprecedented number of women reporting being forced to exchange sex for employment or business favours. More than 57% of women surveyed by Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) said they had been forced to offer sexual favours in exchange for jobs, medical care and even when seeking placements at schools for their children. The report, seen by the Guardian, found women in the informal sector experienced sextortion as the main form of non-monetary bribes by various officials. About 45% of women said they had received requests for sexual favours to access a service and 15% had used sex to get employment. The report, entitled Gender and Corruption, found women were increasingly vulnerable to sexual abuse amid the deteriorating Zimbabwean economy. Women in business were also found to have faced sexual harassment when seeking government tenders. Studies carried out by TIZ in 2019 showed women are vulnerable to sexual abuse when seeking land for residential, business or agricultural use. Sextortion is a global phenomenon that causes serious harm, robbing women of dignity and opportunity, and undermining confidence in public institutions, according to rights groups. Zimbabwe ranks 158 out of 180 countries included in the Transparency International corruption perceptions index.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN