Conrad Mupesa Mashonaland West Bureau
Communities in Mashonaland West province have called on the government, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other players involved in the fight against Gender-based Violence (GBV) to continue offering GBV related awareness campaigns.
While the government and various players intensified the fight against GBV particularly during the 16 days of Activism against Gender-based Violence, communities in Hurungwe and Zvimba districts which fall under the Roman Catholic’s Caritas Chinhoyi Diocese recently said during campaigns organised by the latter to intensify the fight against GBV, that non-stop awareness campaigns were needed to uproot the inherent behaviours of domestic violence and child abuses among many other forms of GBV.
A concerned man from Chikangwe location in Karoi, Mr Edson Hozo told The Herald that the nation was on the verge of winning the fight of ending GBV but it was prudent to intensify and continuously offer awareness campaigns despite season and time-frame.
“You can note that the fight against GBV from the government and other players is commendable, but, it shouldn’t be something that we should do seasonally or during the stipulated 16 daysof Activism against Gender-based Violence. We require more awareness campaigns so that the rates of domestic violence, forced marriages and sexual abuses which are rampant in Hurungwe district are reduced,” he said
Hurungwe community development officer in the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises, Mrs Laiza Kufahakurotwi told a gathering during one of the awareness campaigns in Karoi town that more women than men were victims of GBV according to GBV statistics from the same district.
“Women face more challenges as compared to their male counterparts but, we also noted that women at times are instigators to violence as more refuse husbands their conjugal rights. As a ministry we continue to fight GBV all year round but we implore other players to rise to the occasion and continue offering awareness campaigns in whichever form until we end GBV,” she said.
Caritas consortium’s monitoring and evaluation officer, for Chinhoyi Diocese which covers Mashonaland West and some parts of Mashonaland Central, Mr Blessing Kaonde said his organisation had managed to raise awareness campaigns in 10 wards in Zvimba and Hurungwe districts.
The consortium is made up of Caritas, Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) and Education Commission.
“We have been establishing community advocacy platforms which are aimed at establishing gender dialogue in the community where GBV issues are discussed. Normally, because of the patriarchal society of our culture, these issues used to be discussed in private and not openly but currently with our initiative, we have managed to establish advocacy platforms.
We rely on data from the government’s departments to check which areas have rampant cases of GBV before coming up with models and initiatives aimed at fighting gender-based violence,” he said.
Rufaro Chakanetsa, innovators against gender based violence officer with Caritas consortium and, operating in Karoi, said the Covid-19 pandemic took a toll on the organisation’s fight against GBV.
“Despite the pandemic, we managed to reach more than 6 000 people in Karoi’s four urban wards using the ‘catch the bus, and invade the market campaigns’ models where we distributed flyers and alerted people about GBV and steps to take when reporting any cases. We hoped to reach more people,” she added.