Intensify GBV fight – Kaseba

End Violence Against Women and Girls Now
End Violence Against Women and Girls Now

FIRST Lady Christine Kaseba has said there is need for the country’s criminal justice system to be equal to the task of fighting Gender-Based Violence (GBV) to ensure citizens enjoy their freedoms and rights.
Dr Kaseba said yesterday that she was alarmed at the rising cases of GBV, and cited Kalomo District which recorded 22 defilement cases in 2013 out of which 11 arrests were made while in 2012, the district recorded 21 cases and 13 people were arrested.
In the same district, four cases of rape and 261 of wife battery were recorded last year, with 11 arrests made.
There were 56 husband battery cases, while three were cases of indecent assault on women in 2013.
A total of 300 GBV cases in 2012 were recorded out of which 21 were for defilement with 13 arrests made.
The First Lady was speaking in Chikanta chiefdom during a training seminar on GBV, early marriages and HIV/AIDS.
“Zambia has not been spared and indeed no society is immune to these vices.
“I must stress that these statistics are but a tip of the iceberg. I am aware that not all cases are reported,” she said.
Dr Kaseba said access to justice for victims of GBV should mean more than just punishing the perpetrators in the country.
“It should mean redress and compensation that enables women to recover losses, alleviate poverty and promote long-term empowerment to become full and equal members of society,” Dr Kaseba said.
She called for enhanced partnership in the GBV fight which should go beyond political affiliations. The First Lady appealed to the Ministry of Gender and Child Development to accelerate the process of translating the Anti-Gender Violence Act into Tonga and other local languages for easier understanding.
Earlier, Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkandu Luo called for collective efforts to support Government in the fight against GBV and other related vices.
Southern Province Minister Daniel Munkombwe said GBV cases had become rife in the province and urged traditional leaders to support Government and Dr Kaseba’s crusade against cases violating human rights.
United Nations Population Fund country representative Mary Otieno hailed Government for enacting the Anti-Gender Violence Act in 2011 which she said was another milestone in Zambia’s efforts to address gender equality and protection of women’s rights.
Chief Chikanta pledged to intensify the fight against GBV in the chiefdom, and appealed for support from various stakeholders.