By Faith Chimutsa
Deputy Minister of Woman Affairs Communities Smaller and Medium Enterprises Development, Dr Jennifer Mhlanga, said cases of gender based violence (GBV) are on the rise in Zimbabwe due to a number of factors which include early child marriages, climate change and mitigation.
Speaking at the International Woman’s Day Commemorations in the capital, Mhlanga said woman have limited access to any control of resources, environmental goods and services, they have negligible participation in decision making and are not involved in the distribution of environment management benefits.
Mhlanga further stated that cases of GBV, child marriages, under age pregnancies and girls transactional sex increased during lockdown and was proved by Zimbabwean organizations .
“Emerging evidence in Zimbabwe indicates that poor woman and girls in rural areas and woman with disabilities are at heightened risk of violence, ” she added
Dr Mhlanga highlighted that woman are less able to confront climate change during extreme weather conditions such as droughts, cyclones and floods.
“Woman tent to work more to restore and secure household livelihood and this will leave less time for woman to access education, training development skills in the economic main stream thus gender equality remains low.
“Gender based violence is on the rise around the world exacerbated by COVID-19 pandemic.
The ministry developed gender main streaming guidelines inorder to provide guidance and supported solar powered community garden through the Zimbabwean community development fund.
“My ministry has established six one stop centres in various provinces in the country, which provides all key services required by a GBV sexual violence surviver under one roof namely health, psychological, legal and police services .
“The ministry also implemented mobile one stop concept to cater for those who are in peripheral areas,” said Mlanga.
Continuous awareness campaign on GBV are being carried out in all the provinces and districts across the country.
The ministry of woman affairs communities smaller and medium enterprises development has adopted integrated approach towards education of gender based violence and is guided by the Domestic Violence Act of 2007.
Speaking at the same occasion, Law Society of Zimbabwe, vice President, Rachiel Chibaya said let us all unite in creating a better tomorrow through our children as government, stakeholders , families and community for a better Zimbabwe.