By NOMSA NKANA
GOVERNMENT says it will not give up the fight against gender-based violence (GBV).
Minister of Gender and Child Development Inonge Wina also said denying spouses access to maternal health services is a form of GBV.
She said this in Lusaka at the â€˜Freedom Rideâ€™ flag off event under the theme â€˜Leka GBVâ€™, which is a campaign to raise awareness on the vice and maternal health care as Zambia celebrates 50 years of freedom.
The â€˜Freedom Rideâ€™ includes a group of cyclists who have been riding from Chililabombwe en route to Livingstone, where they will continue their campaign.
Ms Wina said there is an urgent need to step up efforts to stop GBV from destroying and eroding the peace, dignity, prosperity, and legacy of the Zambian people.
â€œWhat shall we pass on to the next generation of leaders and citizens if their heads are not held high? We refuse to be brought down to our knees, to succumb and give up the fight against this scourge. Enough is enough! We stand up, we say no to every form of violence and declare that GBV will not take Zambia down!â€ she said.
She said Government remains resolved to take action now for a violence free-nation.
According to Ms Wina, Government, through her ministry, is working tirelessly to improve maternal health care for mothers as it is a critical developmental issue.
She said investment in safe motherhood is a must because it not only improves a womanâ€™s health and that of her family but also increases the labour supply, productive capacity, ultimately having a positive impact on the economy.
Ms Wina believes access to antenatal care is significant because in the event that an expectant mother is HIV-positive, it enables the health providers to assist her in preventing the transmission of the virus from her from the unborn child.
She said the Freedom Ride is indicative of the effort, tenacity and the sacrifice of the Zambian people to contribute positively to the development of Zambia.
Notable among the riders is world champion bantam weight boxer Catherine Phiri; World 400 meters Gold medalist Samuel Matete, renowned reggae artiste Maiko Zulu and his wife Sister D of the â€˜Vitendeniâ€™ fame.
By NOMSA NKANA