By Tariro Kambeu
National Peace and Reconciliation Commission(NPRC) in line with the Albino Trust of Zimbabwe, Friday joins the world in commemorating 16 days of Activism against Gender Based Violence (GBV) for persons with disabilities.
The commemoration run under the theme “Orange the world and the NPRC adopted theme is ‘End GBV for persons with Disabilities: Fund, Respond, Prevent, and Collect.”
Addressing people with disabilities, NPRC Vice Chairperson Commissioner, Lillian Chigwedere said the commemoration is part of the commission Act which all voices must be heard.
‘’People with disabilities are being affected by social, cultural beliefs, limited services and physical barriers and they are being excluded from issues that directly concerns you’’, Chigwedere explained.
Chigwedere added that the current statistics shows that high rates of women and people with disabilities are being affected.
Statistics revealed that 39% of girls and women aged from 25 to 35 years suffered form of gender based violence and 36- 41.6% are from rural and urban areas.
She Highlighted that rural women are also vulnerable to violence rather than urban women, statistics shows that in 2015, 35% of married women aged between 35 -59 years’ experienced physical abuse and the percentage of girls and women increased with 8%.
The Vice Chairperson Commissioner, said Covid 19 pandemic made GBV worse than before and abuse during lockdown period rise with 90% of calls recorded from the hotlines, 43 daily calls of women and girls who are abused during lockdown.
“The picture of Gender Based Violence in our community is nothing to admire.
“The NPRC is open to hear the complaints of all violence and everyone in the community need to be educated to understand that GBV is a crime.
“’Together we can and we must end GBV to persons with disabilities’’, she said.
Director of the Disability in the Ministry of Public Services, Labour and Social Welfare, Dr Christine Peta said, the Ministry is finalising a new policy on how to dress issues with persons living with disabilities.
“We facilitate the voice of disabilities.”
The policy is guaranteed and let us collaborate as a nation together to complement one another, said Dr Peta.