Forum for African Women Educationalists Zambia (FAWEZA) national chairperson Lillian Kapulu has called on all Zambians to join the battle against gender based violence (GBV).
Ms. Kapulu said in Lusaka today that the safety of children in schools and homes was a primary responsibility for everyone.
She said FAWEZA will this year direct its energy in fighting the scourge by supporting policy makers and all relevant authorities in curbing GBV.
She said it was disheartening that such acts were perpetrated by people who were known to children and were supposed to be protectors.
Ms. Kapulu said many girls were being robbed of their future as some drop out of school because of contracting sexually transmitted diseases and other vices that leave them traumatized for the rest of their lives.
She said gender based violence (GBV) was real and must be fought against by all well meaning citizens.
Ms. Kapulu said it was worrying that sexual violence has continued to be at its highest peak in Zambia with 9, 612 cases being reported about in the year 2012 alone.
She said women in FAWEZA were also appalled by the increasing number of sexual abuse, sexual harassment and uncalled for relationships between teachers and girls in schools.
Ms. Kapulu said FAWEZA will this year work towards strengthening capacity of safe clubs in schools to adequately address and prevent sexual violence and other forms of GBV.
She added that FAWEZA will further work towards creating public awareness through publication of information education and communication (IEC) materials on GBV for community outreach programmes to address GBV in communities and schools.
She said GBV was not a battle that can be won by addressing the symptoms but by tackling all the root causes which require a multi-sectoral approach.