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Written by on December 16, 2021

A decline in the fight against Gender Based Violence endangers the welfare of people especially women and girls and as a result it affects the national productivity. The issues 0f gender-based violence (GBV) is prevalent in mainstream and online social media. Women and girls are targeted in what is seemingly becoming a prolonged cycle of GBV in Zambia, African and the world. The sixteen days (16) GBV activism has seen different organisations and firms such as government institutions, human rights activists, political leaders, the media, the church, the family, civil society organizations (CSO), individuals and other interested entities around the world, come together for the so purpose to address, condemn and put in place lasting solutions aimed at fighting and ending Gender Based Violence (GBV) of any form or at any place.
The activism stretch was commemorated and celebrated under the theme, “Orange the World End Violence against Women and Girls”. The campaign which began on the 25th November extended through to 10th December, 2021 the Human Rights day and it gathered and garnered a lot of views, opinions, expressions and reactions pertaining to the long effects and impacts of GBV to both men and women in society.
Stakeholders such as the African Direction, YWCA, Victim Support Unity (VSU), Coalition for Rural Women Empowerment and other organizations echoed and voiced their stance on what the activism called for. “Collaboration and working together is a sure way of eliminating GBV completely”, YWCA chairperson Besa Kambafwile said. She stated reasons why the figures kept on going up were due to lack of partnership and collaboration among key institutions, covid 19 as well as lack of social support by government and other organizations concerned on and around Gender issues involving both men and women.
Among the major causes of Gender Based Violence (GBV) include cultural norms, illiteracy, and poverty, gender negative and sensitive beliefs fear to report and also on a large extent ignorant participation by members of a society.
Cases involving men and boys as victims of GBV continue to reduce and this can be attributed to the fact that, they fear to report such cases because of various perceptions such as Mwamuna Samalila (Nyanja) “men don’t cry” or the sense of feeling embarrassed accompanied with social status of some men and other reasons that are gender negative. For this reason, the YWCA has designed an initiative aimed at “Coaching boys to become men of tomorrow” as a way to strongly hype the sensitization strategy.
“Ending Gender Based Violence (GBV) is a collective responsibility that all member of a society must aspire to champion”. Coalition for Rural Women Empowerment director, Medaline Mofu indicated. She requested governments and law firms across the globe to up their game in the fight against GBV by ensuring setting up safety facilities and training institutes that address matters of gender-based violence. Researching, advocacy and continuous sensitization in communities must be hugely supported to completely attain a GBV free society.
The young leaders Tone, a radio program on ADU radio also presented an exciting interview inside GBV 16 day’s activism. The conversation saw young people coming from African Direction, a non-governmental organization adding their voice on the stretch of the activism. They indicated, “the need to address social media effects such as cyber bullying and other practices that victimize individuals and expose them to ridicule or public shame, educating the masses about the effects of GBV and also supporting individuals and entities with the needed resources that can assist in reaching out, for instance materials and other needed equipment for easy access especially to to non-urban areas”. On a larger extent, the campaign spear headed a step forward in enhancing the fight against gender-based violence in Zambia, Africa and the world at large by calling strongly to “Orange the World End Violence against Women and Girls. The question seeking answers still remains in all conversations, will the narrative change in the fight against GBV involving men and women and boys and girls? What must be the role of the media, the church, NGOs, the government and other institutions in fighting to end violence of any form?
Collaboration is just the so key that must be fully put in place as a prerequisite in addressing and ending gender-based violence in society as well as the courage, dedication and hard work from the GBV activists and survivors, and those walking alongside in solidarity, need to be celebrated and replicated to become the mainstream discourse on GBV. Only then will society see a real change, making Zambia, Africa and the world a safe place for all.
Listening and amplifying the voices opposing and denouncing GBV is one step in the right direction to “Orange the World End Violence against Women and Girls.

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