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Sub-Saharan Africa


Zimbabwe ranks 129 out of 162 countries in the Gender Inequality Index, where a high rank equals high equality. Women should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though.


Zimbabwe has a Workplace Index score of 5.9, a Marketplace Index score of 6.5 and a Community and Environment Index score of 5.4 in the Children’s Rights and Business Atlas, where countries receive scores between 0 and 10. A score closer to 0 reflects a need for basic children’s rights due diligence, while a higher score reflects a need for enhanced or heightened due diligence. Children should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though. 

Persons with Disabilities

Due to differences in data collection and definitions it is difficult to compare countries on disability prevalence rates. Persons with disabilities should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though.

Minorities and Indigenous Peoples

According to the World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples, the main minorities in Zimbabwe are Ndebele and Kalanga (2.2 million), Tonga (around 140,000), Shangaan (Tsonga) (around 5,000), Venda (91,400) and whites less than (29,000). Indigenous groups in Zimbabwe include Tshwa San (2,600) and Doma (1,250). 

Shona-speaking people, who today form about 75 % of the population, have not historically seen themselves as a ‘tribe’, having been spread over great distances and lacking consciousness of a common cultural or political identity. ‘Shona-ness’ is a creation of the past hundred years. Colonial missionaries and administrators set about categorizing Shona into clusters or sub-tribes on the basis of largely spurious inferences. These artificial constructs took on life of their own, and sub-groupings and hierarchies emerged: Zezeru (central), Karanga (south-central) and Manyika (east) are the three largest blocs. Ndebele are Zimbabwe’s largest minority, with the Ndebele-speaking community making up around 17 % of the total population. Their traditional lands (Matabeleland) are in the south-west of the country, around Bulawayo.

At the political and geographical margins outside the Shona–Ndebele polarity are three peoples together making up about 2 % of Zimbabwe’s population. Shangaan and Venda people live mainly in the far south of Zimbabwe, and Tonga were forced to abandon their ancestral homes on the shores of the Zambesi River in the north of the country in 1957–8 after construction of the hydroelectric dam at Kariba. The main languages in Zimbabwe are Shona, siNdebele and English. The main religions are syncretic Christianity, Christianity, indigenous beliefs and Islam.

Migrant Workers​

According to the ILO Global Estimates on International Migrant Workers, migrant workers as a proportion of all workers is 3 % in the subregion Sub-Saharan Africa.

Persons in Armed Conflict

Zimbabwe ranks 10 out of 179 countries in the Fragile States Index, where a high rank equals high fragility. For monthly crisis updates, check out CrisisWatch

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