Government says there is need to step up efforts to stop gender based violence in the country.
Gender Minister Inonge Wina says this is in order to meet the SADC Protocol requirement for Member States to reduce the level of gender based violence by half by 2015.
Mrs Wina said government with its cooperating partners will continue to put in place adequate prevention and response mechanisms to create a violence free nation.
She said Zambia must invest in safe motherhood because it is the only way that improves a woman’s health and the health of the family.
ZANIS reports that the minister said this in Lusaka today when she flagged off the “Freedom ride” which is a campaign to raise awareness on gender based violence and maternal health care as Zambia celebrates 50 years of freedom.
Mrs. Wina also expressed displeasure that reports indicate that some men in both rural and urban areas do not allow their wives to access antenatal care saying this is a form of gender-based violence.
The minister said access to antenatal care is important because it enables health providers to assist HIV positive expectant mothers in preventing the transmission of HIV from mother to the unborn child.