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Zimbabwe Awarded For Efforts To End Violence Against Women

Zimbabwe’s Spotlight Initiative was recently recognized during a Global Learning Symposium held in Mexico.

The initiative which has so far surpassed its two million target won the Fortitude Award for the determination and resilience demonstrated by the country to eliminate violence against women and girls.

In a statement, the United Nations communications specialist Mr Sirak Gebrehiwot said it has recorded significant gains through innovative approaches such as the online hashtag (#WithHer).

“The programme has been implemented by the UN in collaboration with the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community and SME Development, Civil Society Reference Group and many other partners across the country and Zimbabwe received USD 30 million from European Union as one of 22 countries implementing Euro 500 million global joint UN-EU Spotlight Initiative to end violence against women and girls.

“Of note is the High-Level Political Compact (HLPC) on Gender Based Violence which was signed by the President of Zimbabwe in October 2021, It demonstrates a high-level political commitment to end violence against women and girls as well as harmful practices including child marriages,” he said.

Mr Gebrehiwot said gender-based violence and harmful practices such as child marriages continue to be a huge societal problem in Zimbabwe.

“Laws and policies that protect women and girls from violence and abuse have also been put in place, the Child Marriage Act was passed whilst the Constitutional Court ruled to raise the legal age of sexual consent from 16 to 18 years in May 2022 and this will protect young girls from the brunt of child marriages resulting from harmful religious, social, and cultural practices”, he said.

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The Zimbabwe Spotlight Initiative programme has reached over five million beneficiaries exceeding the targeted two million, the programme directly and indirectly targets beneficiaries particularly rural women and girls living with disabilities and HIV.

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