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Teamwork, Key In Fight Against Gender Based Violence: Katswe

Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) advocacy organisation, Katswe Sistahood says teamwork among stakeholders is the key to curb Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the country.

In an interview with 263Chat, Katswe programmes officer, Paidamoyo Chitsika stressed the importance of teamwork saying it encourages people to report cases of gender based violence.

“Teamwork is important for referrals like if we receive a case whereby one does not know how to deal with an issue. For example you are religious leader and you are not able to handle a case you can refer it to a stakeholder like Msasa, Childline or Katswe Sistahood. Those within communities can refer cases to religious leaders for counseling sessions and this saves time, sharing of resources, it’s important because if one stakeholder is under resourced they can share to assist victims.

“Working together encourages people to bring out cases of SGBV. The recent case (of Anna Machaya) came out as a result of teamwork. Those people could reach out and offer support were able to do so looking at which organisations specialises on which issue. Teamwork is important for us to sustain the gains of the projects which are to prevent women from any form of violence. In a nutshell a single organisation cannot address everything,” said Chitsika.

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Through a program called SASA Faith, Katswe Sistahood is working with churches in Epworth and Kwekwe to equip women on sexual and gender based violence.

“The SASA Faith project has helped women in equipping them on what is Sexual and Gender Based Violence, first understanding it and then knowing where to seek support or help in any case of SGBV and it has also helped religious leaders to interpret the bible in a way that does not perpetuate violence or that brings balance of power in relationships or gender equality in communities.

“It has broken the myths around sexual reproductive health issues where people can now openly discuss about SGBV. It has also equipped the youth with information on how to handle themselves and know that they need to get tested for HIV before engaging in sexual activities. It has also helped women to speak about SGBV and they are now able to stand their ground when violence occurs,” she said

Kudzai Mangombe, an officer with the organisation bemoaned violence against women and girls which he said has negative socio economic consequences.

“There is no justification of violence against women and girls no matter how bad the situation is, we cannot justify it. We see that most women that have suffered violence have a very low self-esteem and most of them cannot pursue their studies because they feel like they cannot do anything in life. Economically, victims of gender based violence cannot go further to seek employment and most end up committing suicide,” said Mangombe.

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