LINDA NYONDO, Lusaka
COMMUTERS Association of Zambia says it will soon launch a sensitisation campaign targeting bus drivers, conductors and call boys against gender-based violence (GBV).
Association chief executive officer Liswaniso Mwanalushi said in an interview recently that the organisation has decided to launch the campaign because most women and girls are abused by bus drivers, conductors and call boys.
“We want to raise awareness on GBV concerning most schoolgirls because they are allegedly abused sexually and verbally by the bus drivers, call boys and bus conductors. They are taken advantage of by men in the transport business who offer them money and, in return, ask for sex,’’ he said.
Mr Mwanalushi said the atmosphere in bus stations is not conducive for women and girls because men are the majority in the stations.
He said women and girls are sometimes abused verbally depending on how they are dressed.
Mr Mwanalushi said even though Zambia has no dress code, the call boys, bus drivers and bus conductors have taken it upon themselves to define the dress code and harass anyone they think is not dressed appropriately.
He said these three groups forget that they also allegedly dress inappropriately as compared to other people.
Mr Mwanalushi said the association also wants to engage bus drivers, conductors and call boys on the importance of them dressing appropriately.
He said his organisation, in partnership with other stakeholders that champion the rights of women, will set up exhibitions in all bus stations in Lusaka.
“We will first start with Lusaka, then roll out the programme to other parts of the country because GBV does not only take place in Lusaka, women and girls in other towns are also affected,’’ Mr Mwanalushi said.
He is hopeful that the sensitisation campaign will help change the mind-set of people in Zambia.