MWAPE MWENYA, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT has commenced the construction of houses for victims of gender-based violence (GBV) in various parts of the country.
Minister of Community Development Mother and Child Health Emerine Kabanshi said in an interview that the structures have already been completed and operational in Kapiri Mposhi and Mansa districts.
Ms Kabanshi said the safe homes are meant to protect women and girls who face abuse in their homes.
â€œWomen and girls are kept in these homes where they receive counselling, and are trained in how best they can be self-sufficient and avoid being too dependent on their husbands for finances,â€ Ms Kabanshi said.
The minister said Government is doing everything possible to protect the rights of women and children who face abuse at the hands abusive spouces, guardians or strangers.
â€œThe structures are fully-furnished and food is provided to all the victims. It is just unfortunate that some women are not taking advantage of these homes,â€ she said.
Ms Kabanshi says some women shun the homes because of stigmatisation while others it is lack of information about the programme.
â€œWe will ensure that sensitisation campaigns are conducted in all communities so that more people can access the services,â€ she said.
The minister said the structures will be constructed in all provincial capitals so as to reach as many people as possible.
And Minister of Gender and Child Development Inonge Wina said Government has released funds for victims of GBV to allow them start businesses that would sustain their lives.
Ms Wina said the funds have been made available to allow women come out of abject poverty and avoid depending on their husbands for finances.
â€œFunds are available for the abused women. We are appealing to the media and women movements to give accurate information to women in communities about the available grants so that they can access them,â€ Ms Wina said.
She said interested women should consult district commissioners in their respective districts on how best they can apply for the funds.
â€œThe money is distributed upon request therefore it is important that victims of GBV take keen interest in the programme for them to benefit,â€ she said.
MWAPE MWENYA, Lusaka