Government has expressed profound sadness at the unreported cases of gender based violence (GBV) in the country.
Deputy Director of Child Development in the Ministry of Gender and Child Development, Abraham Chiwana said it was saddening that most women in the country who are battered by their husbands were not reporting the incidences to the police.
ZANIS reports that the Mr. Chiwana, who is also a Child Development Specialist, said this at Mutomena Basic School in Shangombo district yesterday during the women empowerment meeting organised the Ministry of Gender and Child Development.
Gender and Child Development Deputy Minister Josephine Limata, who is on a ten day tour of Southern and Western provinces respectively to sensitise women on how to access empowerment funds among other issues, officiated at the meeting.
Mr. Chiwana said the girl child should remain a girl and not be made a wife at an early age.
He said a woman was supposed to be protected by her husband but regretted that this was no longer the case in most homes.
“When u marry, you are expected to protect your wife. However we have noted as a ministry responsible, that we have a lot of battered wives who shy from reporting their abusive husbands to the police,” he said.
He said because of this and other trends, government has come up with a policy of empowering women in the country for them to be self-sustaining.
Mr. Chiwana said empowered women were respected in their homes and less abused by their husbands.
He said funds were available for all women who have fully registered clubs and therefore, they can apply for money through the District Commissioners’ offices in all the districts across the country.
He has since appealed to the women in Mutomena to form clubs and apply for the empowerment facility.
And Senior Child Development Officer in the same ministry, Chimuka Hamusunse, said parents should stop marrying of their daughters early but should instead send them to school.
Mr. Hamusunse said it was saddening that most girls were being married off before they reached the age of 18 years.
He told the gathering that marrying off the girl children at an early age creates a lot of complications in their body and well being because they are forced to bear children before they were ready to do so.
He said government will severely punish any guardian or parent marrying off any girl child at an early age.
Mr. Hamusunse added that the same measures would be taken on the parents who would stop their children from going to school in preference for cattle rearing.
He urged the children in the area to say no to their parents who intend to marry them for cattle or any other economic gain.