Intensify the fight against GBV: Japanese ambassador

Source: Intensify the fight against GBV: Japanese ambassador – NewsDay Zimbabwe

Although GBV remains a serious challenge in the country, it is underfunded and most communities lack access to basic violence response services

JAPANESE ambassador to Zimbabwe, Satoshi Tanaka has urged the country to intensify the fight against gender-based violence (GBV) and ensure women have equal access to sexual reproductive health rights in order for the country to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Addressing a media workshop organised by the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists and the United Nations Population Fund which focused on issues of GBV and sexual reproductive health rights, Tanaka said ending child marriages and GBV should be a collaborative effort.

“Development is only possible when all members of our society are involved and empowered and can contribute for the good of their own communities. There is a Shona perception that says that the woman is the head of the household as she takes care of everyone in the home, but the concept is gradually changing as the men need to share women’s burdens,” he said.

The diplomat said women’s participation in the economy, society and political sphere was a precursor to a better society and a prosperous economy.

“Too often women and girls do not have the same rights and many cannot access sexual reproductive health services and many find themselves being victims of GBV.

“I am shocked to learn that the threat of GBV is real and ever present for women and girls in Zimbabwe.  One in four Zimbabwean women have experienced such violence. Needless to say, the physical and physiological effects are devastating.”

He said girls filled with hurt, loneliness, difficulties and darkness could not concentrate on their studies or work.

“They sometimes find themselves pregnant and forced to marry early and sometimes have complications in delivery and birth, leading to death,” Tanaka said.