Harare - Post Report Question and Answers

Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

There is still an underlying tension/divide between black and white Zimbabweans. - May 2021

The business world is certainly male-dominated. There was a politically motivated genocide against the Ndebeles in the 80s and still open societal wounds. A huge percentage like 80% of the whites left after Mugabe's thugs threw them off their farms in the 2000s. Today I don't sense too much racial tension. As I often get mistaken for a white Zimbabwean, I don't get made to feel uncomfortable in any way. One local friend described the white and black communities like "roommates who mind their own business." Asians will always be assumed to be Chinese, and attitudes seem generally unfavorable. - Feb 2020

Men are often referred to as "Boss" regardless of whether or not they are the boss. - Apr 2018

Not sure how to answer the religious prejudices question--for us, we noticed a lot of Apostolic groups which are very conservative groups where women's roles are more closely aligned w/US beliefs in the 1800s. Child marriages in rural areas is common. - Sep 2017

There are definitely racial tensions that don't often come to the surface unless when going to concerts where a lot of alcohol is being consumed or when politicians make racist remarks. Overall Zimbabweans are very peace-loving and friendly though. - Jul 2017

There is some stereotyping of white people but it's rare among educated people. As for gender prejudices, again they tend to exist more among poorer and/or less educated Zimbabweans. On the one hand there are many women in positions of authority and running businesses. On the other hand, there is domestic violence, many husbands have so-called "small houses" (secret second wives or families) and view women as their property. There are women's organizations and public figures who campaign and speak out against these things, so overall progress seems to be happening. I have not seen any religious prejudices in Zimbabwe. There are many religions and denominations practiced here and countless churches, and I have never heard of any of them having any problems. - Apr 2016

No. Zimbabweans are very much aware of their racial differences. It's part of their history. But they are also instinctively tolerant of each other and of foreigners, despite the ruling party's constant playing of the race card. Although Harare is a small town, there are all the same ethnic and religious groupings you'd find in any US city: blacks, whites, east Asians, south Asians, Latinos, Muslims, Jews, Mormons, and so forth. Makes for better restaurants. - Dec 2013

The Rhodesians are white, so coming here as a Caucasian makes one blend in to that group. There is not a lot of prejudice towards Caucasians. There is much more prejudice towards Blacks who are not native, ironically by (only some) staff. I am not aware of any religious prejudice. - Jul 2013

Yes. Definitely -- but it goes both ways. Local blacks say racist things about local whites and visa-versa. As a foreigner, you're sort of removed from it, but I do get tired of all the racial slurs and remarks. - Jun 2009

Yes, typical African society. - Dec 2008

Yes, as with much of Africa there are deeply entrenched racial isssues. - Sep 2008

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