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Friday, July 19, 2024

Calls for more efforts to end GBV

Story by Memory Chamisa

Gender-based violence (GBV) remains one of the most prevalent and persistent issues facing women and girls globally with calls for continued efforts to eradicate the vice.

Awareness of gender-responsive laws and services, provision of health care, psychosocial support and legal aid to survivors of gender-based violence and mobilisation of men and young people to support gender equality have been cited as critical in ending the scourge.

Gender-based violence survivors, counsellors and various participants from private and civil organisations, this Saturday convened at the Harare Gardens to speak against gender-based violence through a dance known as Zumba.

Zumba is a fitness workout that primarily involves cardiovascular activity while helping to build stamina.

The session was organised by Spotlight Initiative which has been pivotal in the fight against gender-based violence and harmful practices against women and girls.

“This Zumba session gave me an opportunity to talk about my experience as a victim of GBV and encourage others to seek help,” a survivor told the ZBC News.

“As men, we came out to speak against GBV and mental health which has witnessed some committing suicide this year the numbers are alarming,” said another.

Chairperson of the Civil Society Reference Group under Spotlight Initiative, Mrs Audrey Charamba highlighted the need for stakeholders and society to support women and girls for them to reach their full potential.

“Since its inception in 2019, the Spotlight Initiative has had many gains in the fight against gender-based violence and harmful practices against women and girls in Zimbabwe. The overall goal of the Spotlight Initiative in Zimbabwe has been for women and girls to realise their full potential in a violence-free, gender-responsive and inclusive Zimbabwe.

“The Spotlight Initiative directly contributes to Zimbabwe’s achievement of three of the country’s prioritised Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Goal 5 on Gender Equality, Goal 3 on good health and well-being and Goal 16 on inclusive and peaceful societies. The Civil Society National Reference Group (CSRG) in Zimbabwe has ensured the active participation of civil society throughout the programme cycle. As the Spotlight Initiative programme in Zimbabwe is coming to an end, with many success stories,” said Mrs Charamba.

According to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency, 40 per cent of women aged between 15 and 49 have experienced physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner.

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