Muchinga Province Minister Malozo Sichone says the Ministry of Chief and Traditional Affairs has partnered with Government and the United Nations (UN) in a joint GBV programme whose main objective is to contribute to strengthening GBV prevention and response system in Zambia in line with provisions of the Anti-Gender Based Violence Act.
The Provincial Minister said the programme whose currently in its second phase of implementation includes various sectors such as the Health, Education and home affairs.
He said the three (3) years programme which is expected to end in 2022 has two outcomes.
Mr Sichone said the first outcome focuses on increased access to and use of quality prevention and response services by persons at risk of GBV and survivors while the second one aims at empowering GBV survivors at risk and communities to break the cycle of abuse.
The Minister said this in a speech ready on his behalf by the Provincial Deputy Permanent Secretary Jonathan Ng’onga during the sensitization workshop for traditional leaders on phase 2 of the Gender Based Violence GRZ/UN programme taking place at Jesims lodge in Chinsali District of Muchinga Province.
”It should be noted that acceptance of GBV in Zambia remains incredibly high in some parts of the country, ” Mr Sichone added.
He charged that according to the Zambia Demographic Health Survey, forty-three percent (43%) of women of childbearing age reported having experience physical violence while 17 percent had the experience.
Mr Sichone added that traditional leaders in the country and in Muchinga Province have been recognized as key partners in the prevention and response at sub-national and national level whose components includes four elements.
The Provincial Minister further said he is aware that traditional leaders can play a vital role in issues of GBV hence involving them will help in many ways.
”Fast track courts, one stop centres, shelters and village led one stop centres are as avenues for strengthening professional practices through capacity
Meanwhile, Ministry of Chief and Traditional Affairs Committee Clerk Kafishi Kaonga said the Ministry helps to resolve conflicts that may arise in various chiefdoms.
Ms Kaonga stated that the Ministry is aware of GBV issues in various chiefdoms hence the involvement of traditional leaders if the scourge is to be reduced.
The two day workshop organised by the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs is expected to come to an end to day after the traditional leaders develop a communique to be used.