By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
Vice President W.K Mutale Nalumango has called for the end of Gender Based Violence by breaking the silence.
Speaking at the launch of the 16 days of Gender Activism, Mr Nalumango said that the 16 days of gender activism gives an opportunity to victims to speak out and shame their oppressors.
Mrs Nalumango also called on Zambians to report cases of gender based violence that have been swept under the rag and help victims get justice.
She that GBV can only be defeated if and when every well-meaning Zambia rises up and speaks against the vice.
“If we do not stand up against GBV now, the commemorations will be nothing but mere routine because GBV leaves no one safe,” she said.
Mrs Nalumango said that there is need to focus energies on eliminating sexual GBV totally against all genders.
She said that gender based violence should be tackled holistically by all stakeholders, and they should ensure that they cover both the rural and urban areas.
Mrs Nalumango said that by so doing social development will be achieved at all levels in the country.
She said that the root cause of gender based violence is gender inequality, poverty, and the imbalance in social status between women and men.
“It is critical that women get empowered and the cultural norms and practices that oppress women and girls are eradicated thereby rising their status,” she said.
Mrs Nalumango also said that the Government is concerned about the gender inequality and the high numbers of cases involving GBV.
She said that since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the demand on toll free victim support lines have increased from 19,000 to 40, 0000.
Mrs Nalumango appealed to tradition leaders to engage with their subjects to ensure that social norms that lead to increase of child sexual abuse are curbed.
She said that the Government has reaffirmed its commitment to protect and promote human rights.
Statistics indicate that cases especially against women and the girl child as reported by the Victim Support Unit has increased, in 2022 26,370 were reported.
This year’s theme of Gender Activism is ‘Orange the world, end violence against women now!”