Govt laments disconnection between policies and implementation

By Margaret Matibiri

THE Government has noted gaps in the implementation of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) policies with a clarion call for all stakeholders to play a part.

Addressing a high-level political compact stakeholders engagement workshop in Harare this Thursday, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Moses Mhike called for unity of purpose in the fight against the social ill.

“As a nation, we are very good at producing good documents. However, we need to improve on the implementation. We also need to have a coordinated approach, as we have a very good document in terms of the high-level political compact. As we move on to implementation, we need to put our heads together, everyone who matters should be brought to the table so we can plan together.

“We do not want to leave anyone behind and we should coordinate ourselves and pull our resources together so we can implement everything successively,” he said.

The Chief Director for Gender, Policy Planning and Programme Management in the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises, Ms Lillian Matsika-Takaendisa raised concern over the abuse of boys and men.

“We have noted with concern, that boys are being abused sexually, especially by older women and we have noted that these issues are not coming out in the open due to cultural restrictions as men who report abuse are considered weak. Sometimes when the young boys report, they are ridiculed so they hold back and cases go unreported. This then gives a rise to drug abuse and other social ills because they have no one to talk to.

“As a ministry, we are tackling gender issues and it is important to underscore that gender is not selective, it incorporates both males and females,” she noted.

Stakeholders have however lamented the under reportage of GBV cases in the country as one in three cases is reported.

A survey by Msasa Project indicates that from January 2020 to May 2022, close to 96 000 cases of GBV have been recorded countrywide.