Govt calls for 365 days ac­tivism against GBV

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Manicaland & Mashonaland East News - Victor Maphosa re­cently in GOROMONZI

THE rate at which gen­der-based vi­o­lence is oc­cur­ring coun­try­wide has prompted Gov­ern­ment, through the Min­istry of Women Af­fairs, Com­mu­nity, Small and Medium En­ter­prises De­vel­op­ment to ex­tend the cam­paign­ing pe­riod be­yond the pre­scribed 16 days to 365 days.

Min­is­ter of State for Mashona­land East Pro­vin­cial Af­fairs Ap­polo­nia Mun­zv­erengi said the ex­ten­sion was an ac­knowl­edge­ment that gen­der based vi­o­lence (GBV) is rife and there­fore the fight against it should not be con­fined to just 16 days but should stretch through­out the whole year.

She was ad­dress­ing thou­sands of peo­ple at Kadya­madare Pri­mary School in Goromonzi dur­ing the Mashona­land East pro­vin­cial launch of 16 Days of Ac­tivism Against Gen­der-Based Vi­o­lence.

She said Gov­ern­ment is in to­tal sup­port of any ini­tia­tive aimed at end­ing gen­der-based vi­o­lence.

Min­is­ter Mun­zv­erengi, who was rep­re­sented by pro­vin­cial deputy di­rec­tor, Mr Kudzai Chimu­soro, said Gov­ern­ment was con­cerned by ris­ing cases of gen­der based vi­o­lence and end­ing it was every per­son’s re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“As we launch this year’s 16 Days of Ac­tivism Against GBV, the Gov­ern­ment is con­cerned with the ris­ing cases and con­se­quences of child marriages,” she said.

“In the fight against GBV, men of Zim­babwe should com­mit them­selves to work to­wards ad­dress­ing the prob­lem as well.

“The fight against GBV can­not bear fruit if men and boys are left out of the ef­fort to achieve a gen­der just so­ci­ety,” she said.

She said there was that need for men to join and par­take the ini­tia­tive as sta­tis­tics in­di­cate that 99 per­cent of GBV cases were per­pe­trated by men and boys.

“Men must be cham­pi­ons of gen­der equal­ity and act as per our Con­sti­tu­tion that ob­li­gates all cit­i­zens to be equal part­ners in de­vel­op­ment.

“Men need to en­ter into a trans­for­ma­tive mode where they change and shift their at­ti­tude to­wards women and girls,” she said.

She said Zim­babwe had put in place sig­nif­i­cant le­gal pol­icy frame­works aimed at deal­ing with GBV and sex­ual vi­o­lence, no­tably the GBV Strat­egy (2012-2015), the Na­tional Gen­der Pol­icy and the Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence Act.

She con­demned child marriages as a vi­o­la­tion of chil­dren’s rights.

She called for strin­gent mea­sures against child marriages as this posed a threat to na­tional de­vel­op­ment.

“It is sad to note that child marriages oc­cur fre­quently among girls who are less ed­u­cated, poor and liv­ing in ru­ral ar­eas.

“Girls pressed into child marriages of­ten fall preg­nant while still ado­les­cents. This alone poses a threat to the na­tional agenda of de­vel­op­ment. There are laws which cur­rently crim­i­nalise child marriages, how­ever there is need to align these cur­rent laws with the Con­sti­tu­tion,” she said.

In ref­er­ence to this year’s theme “Cre­at­ing Zero Tol­er­ance to Sex­ual Ha­rass­ment in the Work­place”, Min­is­ter Mun­zv­erengi called for an end to gen­der based vi­o­lence at work­places as it held back progress.

“It is es­sen­tial for all par­tic­i­pants in the work­place to af­firm equal­ity as a guid­ing prin­ci­ple that gov­erns how each work­place op­er­ates,” she said.

Ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Pro­gramme on GBV Pre­ven­tion and Re­sponse (20162020), Zim­babwe is ranked at num­ber 41 in the world with Mashona­land East Prov­ince fourth at na­tional level.

Cde Mun­zv­erengi

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.