The Forum for African Women Educationalists – Zimbabwe Chapter (Fawezi) director, Lydia Madyirapanze, has urged families to play a leading role in curbing gender based violence – a human rights infringement, public health confront as well as an obstruction to political, economic and social participation.
By Lazarus Sauti
She also encouraged churches as well as traditional leaders to fully engage families to change the negative attitudes towards gender based violence.
“Churches and traditional leaders – custodians of our cultural values, are key driving forces not only in fighting gender based violence, but also in refocusing and redirecting our nation.
“Accordingly, these key agents should engage families – the compass that guides us in tackling gender based violence,” said Madyirapanze.
Furthermore, she said gender based violence should not be justified as it dents the health, dignity and security of its victims.
“Victims of gender based violence can suffer sexual and reproductive health consequences. Because of this and other reasons, gender based violence must not be accepted in this country,” Madyirapanze said.
“Instead of perpetrating violence, families should preach the gospel of love; remember, love does not dishonour others; love is not easily angered; love keeps no record of wrongs; love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.”
Madyirapanze also said cultural and traditional practices in this country still maintain gender inequality and therefore challenged all Zimbabweans to desist from all acts that perpetuate gender based violence and stall sustainable socio-economic development.
She significantly said there is also need for more and better data to inform evidence-based programming in order to address this escalating human right challenge.
“Without doubt, all stakeholders who fight for gender equality and development need to understand the nature and magnitude of gender based violence. Thus, data is essential to help quantify and qualify setbacks, inform policies as well as design programmes based on evidence,” she summed up.