Sat, 10 Feb 2018 12:35:50 +0000
By MOSES SINJWALA
GOVERNMENT and the European Union (EU) have signed a financial agreement worth Euro 25million to help combat sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in Luapula and Northern Provinces.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Secretary to the Treasury Mr Fredson Yamba, said Zambia was faced with high levels of sexual and gender based violence including high incidence of child marriages that needed to be addressed.
Mr Yamba also said the vices had reaching alarming levels requiring attention from all stakeholders, adding that he was confident the agreement would yield great results.
“It is observed that hardly a day passes without hearing of cases of spouses fighting, injuring or worse still killing one another in domestic disputes, this is alarming for a country and needs attention,” he said. He said according to the Gender-Based Violence survey done in 2014, which targeted women, 89 percent of the women surveyed in Kasama, Kitwe, Mansa and Mazabuka reported having experienced or been victims of GBV.
He said that the demographics and health survey showed that 47 percent of women in Zambia had experienced physical violence since the age of 15 years and 77 percent by a current or former husband or partner.
“This trend is both worrying and unacceptable in our society, we equally note with concern that Zambia ranked high in global statistics of early childhood marriage, which is closely correlated with incidences of physical and sexual violence,” he explained.
He said the agreement signed would go beyond mitigation against GBV but also provide comprehensive support services for the survivors of sexual and gender based violence.
And EU ambassador to Zambia Alessandro Mariani said for the programme to completely achieve its core purpose in addressing the SGBV, there was need to involve chiefs who would in turn address the cultural beliefs, attitudes and practices that perpetuated GBV stereotypes in society.
“We can only fully redress the issues of gender based violence if we address the traditional norms, cultural beliefs and practices that perpetuate stereotypes in society and there is need to get the involvement of our chiefs in the fight against GBV,” he said.