Minister of Gender, Elizabeth Phiri, says government has embarked on empowerment programmes to enable both men and women to become economically independent as a way of fighting gender-based violence (GBV).
Ms. Phiri said empowerment programmes are aimed at ensuring that women and men are involved in productive activities that are going to sustain their lives.
Speaking in an interview with ZANIS, Ms. Phiri said being independent will help reduce GBV cases in the country as women and men will be busy engaging in various productive activities.
“Our aim is to ensure that we empower especially the women so that they become independent and this will make them start reporting GBV cases and not shield the perpetrators,” she said.
She said both women and men should promote zero tolerance to all forms of violence in the country and work towards the eradication of traditional practices that are harmful to women and girls.
“That is why as government, we have come up with all sorts of empowerment programmes to benefit the vulnerable people in society because GBV cases are more rampant in rural areas,” she said.
The Minister of Gender further encouraging the women to participate in the empowerment programmes so that they can be productive and innovative.
She added that government is working hard to address the escalating number of GBV cases in the country.
“The increase in cases of GBV is an indication that people are lacking morals because if one is morally upright, he or she cannot kill another person,” she said.
Ms. Phiri observed that government cannot win the fight against GBV alone but needs the support of all stakeholders.
She said there is also need for spiritual intervention to act in the fight against GBV.
Ms. Phiri has since urged the church to pray and take an active role in the fight against GBV.