Zimbabwe Takes Action to End Violence Against Women and Girls

The country joins the global campaign to raise awareness and mobilize action to stop the scourge of gender-based violence.

by Motoni Olodun

Zimbabwe has joined the global campaign to end violence against women and girls, which affects one in three women worldwide. The country launched the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence campaign on Friday, ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25.

The campaign, which runs until December 10, Human Rights Day, aims to raise awareness and mobilize action to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls. This year’s theme is “Investing to prevent violence against women and girls”, highlighting the importance of investing in different prevention strategies to stop violence from its root causes.

According to statistics, one in every three women aged 15 to 49 in Zimbabwe have experienced physical violence at some point in their lives and about one in four women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15. The COVID-19 pandemic has also exacerbated the situation, as lockdowns and economic hardships have increased the risk of domestic violence, child marriages and sexual exploitation.

The launch of the campaign was attended by Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Minister Monica Mutsvangwa, who urged the government and the society to work together to end the scourge of violence against women and girls. She also called for more funding and support for the survivors and the service providers who assist them.

Zimbabwe is not alone in its efforts to combat gender-based violence. The 16 Days of Activism campaign is a global initiative that started in 1991 and has been coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. It involves more than 6,000 organizations in 187 countries and territories. The campaign also supports the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign, which aims to end all forms of violence against women and girls by 2030.

The campaign is an opportunity for everyone to take action and make a difference in their communities. Some of the actions that can be taken include: speaking out against violence, supporting the survivors, educating oneself and others, challenging harmful norms and stereotypes, and demanding accountability from the perpetrators and the authorities.

Violence against women and girls is not inevitable. It can be prevented and eliminated with collective action and political will. Zimbabwe is taking a step forward to create a safer and more equal society for all.

Source: The Herald


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