The Zimbabwean Government in Partnership with the United Nations Country Office for Zimbabwe commemorated the commencement of the 16 Days of GBV in Uzumba-Maramba Pfungwe were they applauded to progress and further commitment while bemoaning family systems.
The 16 Days of GBV are a global commitment to commemorate 25 November through to 10 December as for commemorating the fight against GBV as related to the broader coincidentally generationally sought tenants of Sustainable Development.
The Government of Zimbabwe led by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Small to Medium Enterprises Development, Sthembiso Nyoni highlighted the need to question parenting’s success in underpinning Gender Based Violence(GBV).
Speaking during the official opening of the 16 Days Against GBV Nyoni highlighted that, “Ladies and Gentlemen, the recent spike in child sexual abuse cases, some of which result in minors falling pregnant and then dying while giving birth is disturbing. What is more disheartening to note is that in the majority of these cases, parents and guardians who are expected to be protecting these minors, are being found either as perpetrators, or as facilitators of the abuse and even concealing these issues to protect the perpetrators.”
However, it remains “that During the course of the year we have also witnessed very shocking cases of sexual abuse of children. These experiences have pained us, and we need to say a big NO to GBV…” the Minister further highlighted.
With this coming from a background were, “According to latest surveys in Zimbabwe it is sobering to know that 39% of women reported being physically abused since the age of 15, and 12% of women and girls between 15-49 years had experienced sexual violence.” As said by the United Nations Country Representative Edward Kallon at the same event;
The potential intergenerational GBV victim rate of plus or minus 40 percent (+-40%) female victim rate putting repeat perpetrators at ceteris peribus could argue the potential of a close to 50% male perpetrator rate.
With the above being not true it however is the continued urge to not only blaming man as perpetrators but the whole family unit in the fight against GBV.
The United Nations Country Representative highlighted the commitment from the European Union, Zimbabwean Government and the Spotlight Initiative.
“It is encouraging that despite all these challenges, the Government of Zimbabwe continues to demonstrate commitment to fight GBV- at the highest level of decision making. The UN in collaboration with the European Union, Government and other partners continue to collaborate and invest in uprooting GBV through deliberate measures and programmes such as the Spotlight Initiative. This programme has contributed to strengthening legislation, policy, and Institutions, and contributing to preventing GBV, providing quality Essential Services.” Edward Kallon further emphasised.
The U N Country Office further highlighted the need to collaboratively wedge on and further commit to improve the social standards of women through fighting GBV.
“We must continue to enhance efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including sexual violence, trafficking, and other types of exploitation. We must mount more robust measures to eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriages. More engagements with law enforcement authorities, religious, community leaders, civil society and community-based organizations must be ensured.” Edward Kallon further emphasised.
The meeting was attended by the European Union head of Delegation, Jobst Von Kirchmann, Minister’ s and government officials, Members of Parliament, traditional leaders among other delegates.