Minister of Community Development and Social Services Doreen Mwamba cites the need for concerted efforts to be put in place in order to foster a culture of zero tolerance to violence in all its forms.
Ms Mwamba said that the government is against any acts of violence against women, girls and children, and it therefore needs to come to an end.
Speaking in a speech read on her behalf by the Chief Child Development Officer, Lackson Chipampa, during the commemoration of the International Day of The Girl Child, the Minister further called for interrogation and dismantling of all negative social norms and cultural practices that infringe on the rights of girls.
“Globally,1 in 3 women have experienced some form of violence at least once in their lifetime, the picture in Zambia according to the 2018 health demographic survey, shows that at least 36 percent of women had reported experiencing violence,” she said
The Minister expressed contentment that this year’s commemoration under the theme “Our Time is Now-Our Rights, Our Future” is in line with the government’s aspirations as evidenced by the recent enactment of the Children’s Code Bill, which is significant and a huge milestone in advancing the right of girls and wellbeing of children in the country.
Ms Mwamba disclosed that Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, is currently working with support from partners, particularly UNICEF, to rollout the Children’s Code Bill which provides for roles, responsibilities and duties of most stakeholders such as parents, guardians, local communities, organizations, traditional leaders and the whole Zambian society.
And United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)Country Representative, Gift Malunga encouraged girls to prioritize education in order for them to have a bright future.
Ms Malunga highlighted the need for reproductive health education in order for girls to understand their responsibilities in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Meanwhile, Director for Child Development, Bridget Moya, called on girls to be resilient and protect themselves from vices such as early marriages and teenage pregnancies.
Ms Moya stated that girls should ensure they are counted in issues of personal and national development.