By ZBC Reporter
ZIMBABWE has been urged to invest in strengthening traditional leaders’ capacity in awareness campaigns to eliminate Gender-Based Violence which has been on the increase during the COVID-19 lockdown period.
Socio-economic hardships as a result of the global pandemic and the social isolation measures have led to an exponential increase in Gender-Based Violence cases in many Southern African countries including Zimbabwe.
Traditional leaders have since been identified as key in tackling GBV and creating safer spaces for reporting with a two-day capacity building symposium being convened in Victoria Falls.
“One of the keys things that have stood out during this training is the need for our traditional leaders to be capacitated with legal statutes and understating of those pieces of legislation that relates to gender-based violence, said Anna Mandizha Ncube Executive Director Buwalo-Matalikilo Trust
Traditional leaders from Hwange District who attended the symposium called for a collective effort in encouraging victims to report cases of abuse.
“We need to eliminate of forms of violence on women and girls. As traditional leaders who are committed to playing a part but however it is clear that winning the war against GBV requires a collaborative effort among all concerned stakeholders.”
SAFAIDS Zimbabwe Country Representative, Musa Hove said lack of access to justice is one of the major challenges being experienced in the fight against GBV.
“We still see a heightened lack of reporting of gender-based violence cases within the home. We know there are people who have been closed up sometimes forced to stay with the perpetrators of that gender-based violence, he said.
Apart from engaging men and boys to end violence against women, proposals were also made for the country to consider the establishment of special courts to deal with gender-based violence cases.