Minister of Gender and Child Development Inonge Wina has regretted that cases of gender based violence (GBV) have been on the increase in the country despite putting in place a comprehensive legal and policy framework aimed at reducing it.
Ms. Wina attributed the high number of GBV cases to tradition and cultural practices that have made women to be vulnerable to the vice.
She disclosed that according to a recent Victim Support Unit (VSU) report, reported cases of GBV were 10,217 in the year 2013.
She said this in Lusaka today during the handover of seven vehicles to the Zambian government from the United Nations Joint Programme on GBV.
Ms. Wina said because of these alarming statistics of GBV, government, cooperating partners and the United Nations joined hands to intensify awareness in GBV in order to prevent and respond to the vice promptly.
She said the provision of vehicles to the Zambian government should necessitate more visibility of the victim support unit of the Zambia Police and a prompt response to community alerts.
She said despite women and girls receiving adequate attention from stakeholders, men and boys have also been survivors of GBV saying the police should also actively look into their plight.
Ms. Wina said her ministry had resolved to ensure that everyone in the country lives in a society free of abuse.
Meanwhile, Acting UN Resident CoordinatorSimon Cammelbeeck said the UN joint programme on gender based violence aims at supporting the government to address GBV by increasing survivors’ access to timely and appropriate health services.
Mr. Cammelbeeck said this would help to offer efficient justice delivery systems and support services including economic empowerment.
He commended government for the efforts it has taken to address gender based violence in Zambia through the enactment of the anti-gender based violence Act
He said the joint programme was also aimed at improving national and sub-national coordination of an effective, evidence-based and multi sectoral response to GBV.
Mr. Cammelbeeck said the victim support unit of the Zambia Police plays a critical role in identifying, responding to and investigating cases of GBV, thereby providing survivors with the necessary protection.