Ministry of Gender Permanent Secretary Auxilia Ponga says the high number of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) cases which Zambia continues to record every year, contradicts the country’s reputation as a peaceful nation.
Dr. Ponga observed that the cases of GVB Zambia has been recording are too high for the country which is known for peace and tranquillity on the African continent.
She disclosed that despite the enactment of various pieces of legislation, the country has continued to witness a huge increase in the number of Gender Based Violence Cases (GBV).
In the first quarter of 2018, the country recorded 5,940 cases of GVB while in 2019, 5584 cases were reported.
Dr Ponga however regretted that the country has no data on the cases of sexual harassment at workplaces, apart from the information reported to the Victim Support Unit of the Zambia Police Service.
She expressed sadness that sexual harassment cases are taking place in various workplace with very little attention of redress provided to the victims.
The Permanent Secretary was speaking at a stakeholder workshop for developing a National Framework on Sexual Harassment and disciplinary code taking place at Waterfall Hotel in Chongwe District.
She urged the stakeholders at the workshop to ensure that they come up with a document, to be submitted to Cabinet for consideration within the next two months.
And Zambia Centre for Communication Programmes (ZCCP) Executive Director Johans Mtonga noted that sexual harassment is a serious manifestation of sex discrimination at the workplace and violation of human rights.
In a speech read for him by ZCCP Deputy Chief of Party Doreen Manda, Mr Mtonga stated that sexual harassment undermines gender equality that begs the question of integrity, dignity, physical and psychological well-being of workers especially women who are mostly vulnerable.
He stressed that the burden of preventing sexual harassment rests on the employer in public, private and civil society institutions stating that enforcement of policies should be monitored by all stakeholders.