–Zambia today joined the rest of the world in conducting the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence campaign, whose adapted theme is “From Peace in the Home, to Peace in the Nation: Stop GBV, Empower Women and Men”.
The 16 Days of activism against gender violence is an international campaign commemorated annually from 25 November to December 10.
Acting President, Guy Scott, who graced the ceremony held at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, urged the people in the country to institute a citizen’s arrest on perpetrators of GBV.
Dr Scott said the Anti-Gender-Based Violence Act No 1 of 2011, empowers people to take interest whenever GBV crimes manifest in local communities.
He said such actions could save lives and contribute to Zambia’s development now and beyond.
He said the theme is appropriate as it empowers women and men, boys and girls in homes guarantee to secure their future.
The Acting Head of State noted that GBV is an economic issue which requires action not just from government but society at large through implementing family values.
And Minister of Gender, Inonge Wina, disclosed that GBV District Task Forces have been instituted in Eastern, Lusaka, Muchinga, Southern and Western provinces in order to effectively fight the scourge.
Ms Wina said the Task Forces would be scaled up in the remaining five provinces in order to raise awareness in rural areas.
She commended the women in the country for their tireless efforts and determination in achieving the enactment of the GBV Act by responding positively to GBV issues.
UN Acting Resident Co-ordinator, Hamid Elbashir, observed that 51 per cent of the Zambian population was not enjoying peace due to violence they allegedly experienced on a daily basis.
Dr Elbashir said the 12, 988 GBV cases recorded from January to September this year were alarming and were still rising.
He pledged UN system’s support to helping the Zambian government eliminate the vice in ensuring that resources were mobilised.
Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ General Secretary, Suzanne Matale, in her homily said GBV was a serious violation of human right.
Rev Matale said the perpetrators of GBV were exhibiting demonic behaviours because they are greedy and selfish instead of saving innocent lives and souls.
Government, through the Ministry of Gender and Child Development, has lined up various activities in commemorating the 16 days of activism.
Proponents of GBV in the nation attended the official commemoration of 16 days of activism against gender violence at the Church.