By Joyce Mukucha
As the nation is grappling with Covid-19, the government is implementing strategies in fighting against gender-based violence (GBV) which has been exacerbated by the pandemic.
In an interview, the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Sitembiso Nyoni said gender awareness is not only about pleasing women but a human right that should be upheld at all levels.
“We are to raise awareness about gender-based violence. Raising awareness is not only about pleasing women. It is a human right issue at the local, regional, national, and international levels. Secondly, we are to raise awareness on national resources to address gender-based violence and thirdly to provide a forum for stakeholders working on GBV issues to reflect dialogues and share strategies so that we work together as a nation,” said Minister Nyoni.
Meanwhile, Hope Tungamira, the Chairperson of a non-governmental organisation – Centre of Hope, said societal setting affect women as they face challenges of being disrespected or looked down upon by other people including women. This leads to many cases of GBV.
“Women have a tendency of looking down upon fellow women who will be trying to find a way of making ends meet. Even the in-laws and the society at large say negative things and also look down upon daughters-in-law or housewives. So as women, we face a lot of challenges and that can fuel levels of GBV.”
As cases of GBV in the country are rapidly increasing, the government is continuing to collaborate with non-governmental organisations such as the UN and EU in commissioning One Stop Centres of addressing GBV nationwide.