Chief Mumena of the Kaonde people in Kalumbila district, North-western province, has advocated for comprehensive pre-marital teachings on gender-based violence (GBV) as part of efforts to combat this social issue. The chief made these remarks during the launch of the 16 Days of Activism Against GBV under the theme “Unite! Invest to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls.”
Chief Mumena emphasized the need for both males and females to undergo robust pre-marital education against GBV, believing it would contribute significantly to healthier marriages. He further urged a collective commitment to abstain from violence during the 16 days of activism.
During the event held at his palace, Chief Mumena disclosed the existence of a GBV One-Stop Centre near his palace and called for the establishment of such centers in every village to combat the scourge effectively.
“We have a GBV center here; we want a village-led GBV One-Stop center in every village to stop the GBV scourge,” he asserted.
In addition to educational initiatives, Chief Mumena recommended the integration of arts into GBV sensitization programs to enhance the communication of anti-GBV messages.
Jessy Liswaniso, a representative from the Non-Governmental Organizations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC), highlighted the disproportionate impact of GBV on women and girls, reinforcing the urgent need for collective action and increased resources for GBV prevention.
While commending the government’s initiative to review the Anti-Gender Based Violence Act No.1 of 2011, Liswaniso stressed the severity of GBV as a national crisis, affecting various aspects of society, including healthcare, education, social protection, justice, and productivity.
Limpo Sishekanu, the Provincial Gender Officer, shared alarming statistics indicating a 31.6% increase in GBV cases nationwide during the second quarter of 2023 compared to the same period in the previous year. She emphasized that GBV poses a public health threat, limiting the potential of individuals and the nation at large.
Provincial Permanent Secretary Colonel Grandson Katambi (Rtd) acknowledged the crucial role of traditional leaders in the fight against GBV, urging them to intensify efforts in sensitizing communities, reporting GBV cases, and enhancing anti-GBV committees.
Colonel Katambi reassured the commitment of the government to collaborate with various stakeholders, including cooperating partners, NGOs, the private sector, and community-based organizations, to strengthen the fight against GBV.
The launch of the 16 Days of Activism Against GBV serves as a rallying point for Zambia to address the complex challenges posed by GBV and prioritize prevention measures before response strategies.