FOCUS: Uniting Against All Forms Of Violence

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is an annual campaign that begins on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and runs through International Human Rights Day on 10 December.

The campaign is supported by the United Nations and this year’s theme: “UNITE! Activism to end violence against women and girls”.

GBV is violence directed against a person because of that person’s gender or violence that affects persons of a particular gender disproportionately.

Global statistics on Violence against Women show that, on average, 35 per cent of women have experienced either physical and/or sexual violence by someone who is an intimate partner or sexual violence by someone who is not a partner.

Population Solutions for Health and partner Population Services International supported by the Embassy of Sweden in Harare this week appreciated the community alongside Love Shouldn’t Hurt ambassadors, gender-based violence cadres, sponsors and celebrities who came together in their numbers to speak out against gender-based violence and child marriages ahead of the 16 days of activism kicking off on 25 November 2022.

The 2022 Campaign is “Enhancing the Inclusion of Youths in the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence”.

Speaking during a conversation with a local radio station, Legal expert Shamiso Magoko stated that men were also victims of gender-based violence and should be encouraged to report it.

“As a society, we should move away from that because there are many cases of men being violated but they are not getting a safe platform to report and coming up as victims. GBV is a human right violation and I encourage everyone to report it if it happens, stop blaming yourself because it is not anyone’s fault. Perpetrators should be arrested,” she said.

The Federation of Organizations of Disabled People in Zimbabwe (FODPZ) intends to profile survivors of gender-based violence with disabilities (both men and women), who are willing to share their experiences with the world, which they feel can impact or transform other people’s lives during this period as part of the 16 DOA commemorations.

Amnetsy International Zimbabwe tweeted that:

“As we countdown to the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, we reflect on the reality that many girls in Zimbabwe experience unintended pregnancy and are at disproportionate risk of maternal mortality and morbidity, HIV infection, and early or forced marriage.”

University of Zimbabwe Padare Enkundleni Men’s Forum on Gender Chapter in partnership with SayWhat are planning to have a color splash and Talent show to kickstart the 16 days against GBV on 25 November.

One in three women are expected to encounter physical and/or sexual intimate relationship violence or non-partner abuse. Everyone has a responsibility to support GBV victims by listening to them without passing judgment, reacting in a calm manner, and enquiring about any concrete assistance you can offer.

In 2020, COVID-19 had a significant impact on everyone’s life because nations went into lockdown and restricted travel to stop the virus’s spread. Reports of all types of violence against women and girls, particularly domestic abuse, started to increase as doors closed and isolation started.

Charmaine Brown

Charmaine Brown is 27 years old, media personnel. She studied Media and Society Studies (2017-2020) at Midlands State University in Zimbabwe. Charmaine had an internship at The Herald and presently is an entertainment journalist for My Afrika Magazine. She currently lives in Harare.

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