UN hails President for spearheading campaign against GBV

Source: The Herald – Breaking news.

UN hails President for spearheading campaign against GBV 
Mr Edward Kallon

Sifelani Tsiko

Agric, Environment & Innovations Editor

President Mnangagwa has been hailed for his commitment to the implementation of the Spotlight Initiative high level political compact, a strategic initiative for an effective response towards elimination of gender-based violence, mostly that by men against women and girls.

Edward Kallon, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Zimbabwe told an event to mark the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) that the President’s launch and approval of the high level political compact on ending gender-based violence and harmful practices, demonstrated political will at the highest level.

“The country’s human rights accountability mechanism was on track. We must congratulate the Government for that. Zimbabwe needs to implement this and develop an action plan,” he said.

UN Women Country Representative Fatou Lo also hailed the President for his unflagging stand in the fight against gender-based violence and harmful practices.

“There is political will at the highest political level. President Emmerson Mnangagwa signed the Spotlight Initiative high level political compact and we are grateful to the Government for the political will,” she said.

“We take note of the human rights accountability mechanisms which the Government of Zimbabwe has committed to such as state party periodic reporting on CEDAW, which is on track. To ensure continued implementation of the CEDAW recommendations, we encourage the Zimbabwe government and stakeholders through the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development to continue strictly monitoring the recommendations guided by the National Action Plan in place.

The universal periodic review is another important human rights mechanism which the government of Zimbabwe is committed to in efforts to improve the human rights situation of women, men, boys, and girls. 

“Following the review of Zimbabwe in 2022, we therefore urge the Government to prioritise the development of a National Action Plan to implement these critical recommendations sited as part of the UPR process to ensure fulfilment of its human rights obligations and commitments especially for women. The development of the Action Plan must be consultative in nature and inclusive of women and girls,” Fatou Lo said.

In 2021, President Mnangagwa launched the compact which sought to promote continued political commitment and engagement of leaders at the highest level in a comprehensive response to the harmful practices.

The Government initiation was supported by the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme, traditional leaders and churches among others.

The UN held a media engagement event on Human Rights 75 Initiative and launch of the monthly thematic spotlight on women’s rights to mark the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This provided an opportunity for the United Nations to put the spotlight on human rights across the globe.

Activities to advance the Human Rights 75 Initiative will run throughout the year and culminate in a high-level event convened by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, together with a group of leaders and co-hosted by the Government of Switzerland.

This event which will take place from 11 to 12 December this year will provide all member states and other stakeholders with an opportunity to submit pledges for transformative change and progress in the cause of human rights.

In recognition of the Human Rights 75 Initiative global a thematic focus for June highlighting women’s rights was also launched.

Activities for the rest of the month will leverage on the achievements of the Spotlight Initiative, a joint programme to eliminate violence against women and girls implemented by the United Nations and partners with the funding from the European Union.

“No meaningful social contract is possible without the active and equal participation of women and girls. Equal participation in leadership, economic inclusion, and gender-balanced decision-making are simply better for everyone, men, and women alike,” said Fatou Lo.

“Zimbabwe is committed to see the realisation of the global aspiration demonstrated through the adoption of Sustainable Development Goals, specifically goal number five which focuses on gender equality and its associated targets on ending violence against women and girls,” President Mnangagwa remarked in 2021.

“My Government is equally ensuring the mainstreaming of gender across the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Today we therefore recommit ourselves to this cause by making a declaration through the high level political compact on ending gender-based violence and harmful practices.”