CHOMBA MUSIKA, Lusaka
THE NON-Governmental Organisations Coordinating Council (NGOCC) says mental and physical torture which some women endure at the hands of their spouses has contributed to rising cases of men suffering retaliatory violence which has in some cases resulted in serious injuries and death.
NGOCC executive director Engwase Mwale says some women who turn violent against their spouses do so as a result of mental distress from their abusive spouses.
She said this during Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation’s Sunday interview programme.
“A number of women we spoke with told us that by the time they raised their hand [against their spouses] they have been going through emotional issues at the hands of their spouses,” Ms Mwale said.
She said it is not necessary for women to remain in a violent relationship in the name of being submissive as prescribed by society.
“I note that some women chose to stay in a violent relationship because they have no alternative sources of income and that is why we have been calling for the economic empowerment of women.
“Women who are economically disadvantaged are less likely to leave an abusive spouse,” Ms Mwale said.
He urged Government and other stakeholders to work together to ensure women are economically empowered as this is key in reducing gender-based violence among couples.
Ms Mwale also challenged media houses to spearhead the “gender agenda” and ensure women appreciate their role in the governance system.
“We need to engage more women on their need to take up leadership positions,” she said.
Ms Mwale urged citizens to personalise the fight against gender -based violence by promoting gender equality in their communities.
“Gender-based violence and the gender agenda should be a national issue,” she said.
Ms Mwale also refuted assertions that NGOCC is an elitist organisation.
“In rural Mansa district, NGOCC in partnership with stakeholders has built a 60-bed capacity boarding school for girls to prevent child pregnancy,” she said.