By Faith Chimutsa
Zimbabwe is the only among all the spotlight initiative implementing countries in Africa ,Asia , Latin America,the Caribbean and the Pacific to launch such a compact at the highest level of government.
National Gender Based Violence Strategy is guided by the commitment document used to implement programmes, policies and activities to realize the vision of the compact,that of a gender-just society free from all forms of GBV and harmful practices where women and girls fully contribute towards the attainment of an upper middle middle -income society by 2030.
Speaking at the first anniversary of High Level Political Compact in the capital on Thursday, Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Dr Sithembiso G.G. Nyoni said in government, there have been interventions targeting the economic empowerment of women, a total of 2500 women benefited from the empowerment initiatives under the spotlight initiative programme.
These programmes include business management, financial literacy,skills training as well as provision starter packs for income generating activities. The establishment of Gender Responsive Safe Markets for women with one in Epworth which was opened in 2021.
“We are in the process of reviewing the National Gender Policy as well as National Gender Based Violence Strategy which seeks to promote gender equality and to guide implementation of GBV programmes.
“Today marks the 1st anniversary of a milestone achievement by Zimbabwe which made history by becoming the 1st country under the Global Spotlight Initiative programme to develop a multi -sectoral compact dedicated towards addressing GBV and harmful practices.
“The compact provides for an action plan that guides implementation of programmes on ending GBV and harmful practices as well as the monitoring and evaluation framework that will help to track it’s implementation”,said Dr Nyoni.
She further reviewed that in terms of service provision, government is also spearheading the provision of services through the One Stop Centre and Safe Shelter Model which has proved to be very effective in providing a holistic service including temporary shelter to GBV survivors .
Speaking at the same occasion, UNDP Resident Representative Mia Seppo said we want to acknowledge His Excellency, the Ambassador of the EU and EU member states through the spotlight initiative in Zimbabwe who are the key partners in the elimination of GBV in Zimbabwe , this has indeed made a difference.
“Investments have been made towards strengthening or establishment of institutions that provide services to Gender Based Violence survivors. Key examples include the development of child and victim friendly courts , establishment of national SGBV call centres , establishment and strengthening of mobile and static one stop centres . The installment of state of the art DNA forensic lab which makes it easier for law enforcement to generate evidence in bringing perpetrators of GBV to justice,” added Seppo.
EU Ambassador Jobst Von Kirchmann highlighted that GBV and harmful practices are a fundamental violation of human rights. They are one of the biggest obstacles to women’s participation in decision making that severely limits their ability to participate in economic, social and political activities and constitutes a drawback to Zimbabwe’s development aspiration.
“The European Union is fully committed to fight against gender Based violence and harmful practices by financing the spotlight initiative with 500m EUROS, a joint European Union -United Nations flagship programme to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls. For Zimbabwe USD30m went to that programme,” said Kirchmann.
Gender Based Violence takes place in all settings,at home and in public spaces and we all need to join hands to eradicate it . Together we have to condemn that violence and to urge all those involved to immediately desist from violence he ended.