By AARON CHIYANZO in Chisamba
PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has called for a stop to gender based violence and inequalities against women.
President Lungu said the increase in GBV cases in the country was worrying.
He said a man does not prove his ‘manhood’ by beating a woman.
President Lungu said the olden days of proving to be a man by beating a woman were long gone.
Mr Lungu said this during the launch of a One Stop GBV Centre in Chamuka Chiefdom in Chisamba yesterday.
“It’s not love to beat a woman. A man is supposed to love and protect a woman.
“This one stop centre is part of the US$6.7 million partnership programme ,” he said.
President Lungu also said GBV was counterproductive to development and that it should be stopped by all means.
He said government had undertaken several changes at policy and administrative levels including enacting laws aimed at combating GBV.
Mr Lungu also said government had made strides in ensuring equal participation of women at all levels and called on women to take advantage of the ongoing adoption process before it ends.
President Lungu thanked traditional leaders for participating in the fight against GBV and other inequalities.
Meanwhile, Minister of Gender Elizabeth Phiri said government was implementing a number of programmes aimed at protecting the girl child.
Ms Phiri thanked President Lungu for championing the fight against GBV and inequalities against women.
“We thank your Excellency for championing the fight against GBV. We have embarked on a number of projects and programmes to support the fight against GBV and promote women rights because of you,” she said.
And Chiefs and Traditional Affairs minister, Lawrence Sichalwe said 288 chiefs have signed a pledge to fight GBV and end cleansing practices.
Mr Sichalwe called on chiefs and headmen to support efforts aimed at promoting women rights and ending unhealthy practices.
And United Nations resident coordinator, Coumba Mar Gadio said one in every two women have been victims of GBV.
Dr Mar Gadio said UN would continue supporting Zambia in its fight against GBV and other discriminatory vices.
And Swedish Ambassador to Zambia, Anna Maj Hultgard whose country is among the sponsors of the project said girls’ rights should be priorities.
Amb Hultgard called on traditional leaders to champion the fight against GBV and discriminatory practices against women.
Law Association of Zambia president, Abyudi Shonga said free paralegal services would be provided at the centre.
Mr Shonga said paralegal officers would be stationed at the centre to identify cases that needed further legal pursuit and ensure legal help was availed.
Central Province Minister, Sydney Mushanga thanked government and cooperating partners in ensuring that the province was not left behind in the development agenda.