The government says Sexual Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) is a fast-evolving national crisis that must be addressed quickly. Minister of Gender Elizabeth Phiri says last year the country recorded 22,073 cases of SGBV compared to the 21,504 in the year 2017.
Ms. Phiri explained that her ministry is working closely with key stakeholders in curbing the terrible impact of Sexual Gender-Based Violence on society. The Minister was speaking in Lusaka today when she officiated at the first-ever national sexual and gender-based violence Indaba.
“Government will not preside over a society whose people’s rights are violated and that is the reason why we have stood strong to fight the vice. The statistics are alarming and they keep on rising. In 2015 we recorded 18,088 cases, 2017 21504 and 22,073 cases were reported in 2018 which calls for the quick action and my Ministry will be awaiting the recommendations from this two days indaba,” she said.
The Gender Minister emphasized that the government is fighting the vice through the implementation of the Anti-GBV Act number one of 2011 and the 2016-2021 strategic plan on ending child marriages.
And Non-Governmental Gender Organisations Coordinating Council (NGGOCC) Board Chairperson Mary Mulenga said the National Indaba on sexual and gender-based violence will develop homegrown solutions on ending the scourge.
Ms. Mulenga underscored that the first-ever indaba will also create a network of actors who will champion the fight against SGBV.
“SGBV is fast becoming a national crisis because of the cases that keep on escalating. Thus, our coming together to develop homegrown solutions that will fight the scourge for it is detrimental to the social and economic development of the country. Time has come for all the parties involved to work together and completely eliminate the vice,” said Ms. Mulenga.
Meanwhile, Musenge Musomali, a GBV survivor lamented that perpetrators of the scourge are always close relatives to the victims.
Ms. Musomali further called on women to stop shielding men who mostly abuse children entrusted in their custody.
The first-ever National Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Indaba run from 11th to 12th September under the theme Zambia Unite! End Sexual and Gender-Based Violence.