Gender Gender

Rising GBV cases worry minister

MINISTER of Gender Elizabeth Phiri

CHALI MULENGA, Livingstone and NOMSA NKANA, Lusaka
MINISTER of Gender Elizabeth Phiri has called for concerted efforts in curbing sexual gender-based violence (SGBV), which is a hindrance to economic growth.
And Non-governmental Gender Organisations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) is disheartened and concerned at the increasing numbers of GBV reported cases, some of which are resulting in death.
Ms Phiri said SGBV is a cost to the economy and also negatively affects children as it may lead to serious impaired personal development.
The Zambia Police Victim Support Unit (ZPVSU) has recorded a 1.1 percent increment in reported GBV cases standing at 6,139 in the second quarter of 2019 as compared to 6,074 cases during the same period in 2018.
However, ZPVSU shows that child defilement cases have seen a decrease of 26 percent, with 583 cases being recorded in the second quarter of 2019 compared to 734 during the same period in 2018.
“What is also worrying is that GBV has continued to affect more women compared to men, clearly indicating the existence of gender inequalities that are in favour of men,” Ms Phiri said during her visit to Livingstone on anti-GBV programmes on Monday.
Ms Phiri said the ministry has the responsibility to significantly reduce on gender inequality, enhance women’s empowerment and help reduce on SGBV.
She commended the Livingstone Anti-Gender Based Violence Task Force for its commitment to fighting GBV despite having funding challenges.
Livingstone Anti-Gender Based Violence chairperson Michael Bwembya called for the construction of a safe house for GBV victims, who have been battered by spouses, as the current safe house only accommodates victims under the age of 16.
And NGOCC is disheartened and concerned at the increasing numbers of GBV reported cases.
“It is evident that SGBV is fast becoming a national crisis that is not only causing death but also negatively affecting the productivity of the country. Instead of citizens being more productive, they are spending time care-giving and nursing effects of SGBV. The time to act against SGBV is now,” NGOCC executive director Engwase Mwale said.
Ms Mwale has called for more holistic approaches to ending SGBV in all its forms, with the involvement of Government, private sector, church and civil society organisations, among other stakeholders.

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