Two women organisations have commended the Irish government for pledging more than KR8 million towards the fight against Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Zambia.
Ireland last week pledged to commit about KR8.9 million towards a joint programme between Zambia and the United Nations (UN) on GBV.
This amount will be provided over a period of four years.
In separate phone interviews with ZANIS in Lusaka today, the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) and the Women for Change (WfC) welcomed the financial support from the Irish government saying it will go a long way in boosting the fight against GBV in the country.
YWCA Executive Director Patricia Ndhlovu said the GBV fight has regained momentum in recent years hence more resources were required to implement anti gender based violence programmes.
Ms. Ndhlovu was however quick to say the funds from the Irish government should be used prudently for the benefit of the country.
She said YWCA was encouraged by the support from Ireland and will continue to set up programmes aimed at mitigating and preventing Gender Based Violence on all levels in the country.
“We are scaling up our efforts to discourage GBV. We are setting up shelters and on the 20th this month we will be opening up two one stop centres in Solwezi that will provide therapy to victims and survivors of GBV,” she said.
The YWCA Director reiterated that her association was working tirelessly to raise awareness among men in the country to encourage them to desist from acts of violence against their wives and other women.
She said this was because men have been reported to be the worst perpetrators of GBV acts hence the need to engage them to stop the scourge.
And Ms. Ndhlovu has commended the media for its role in the fight against GBV saying without them, there would be no platform for victims of GBV to speak out against the abuse.
Meanwhile, Women for Change (WfC) Executive Director Emily Sikazwe, has said a lot needs to be done to ensure that the scourge was eradicated in the country.
Ms. Sikazwe said GBV has continued to be a problem in the country in both rural and urban areas of the country.
She said her organisation was working with traditional leaders, local authorities and the police in various communities to raise awareness on GBV.
She added that Women for Change was currently looking for alternatives in securing medical certificates for the victims.
“What we are doing is to see how best those who are abused can be examined and provided with certificates or reports to show that yes, they have been beaten because in the rural areas there is lack of facilities to provide credible police reports and medical certificates,” she said.
And Ms. Sikazwe has called for cooperation among stakeholders to ensure effective implementation of the GBV act of 2011.