Zambia: 16 Days of Activism - Women Seek Departure From Rhetoric

LOVE and hate can be two sides of the same coin. How is violence foolishly mistaken for love? Violence should never be tolerated.

The common enemy to women in today's world, in today's Zambia is the violence that they have become familiarised with.

The rights of women have not been sufficiently addressed and will continue to be minor if steps are not taken towards improving their unfortunate status.

There is an alarming tendency for male subjects to unfairly and prejudicially treat women and girls in the household, in the workplace and even the market places all around the world purely based on their gender, which is an awfully heart sore clarification to make.

Towards the end of the year, November 25-December 10, 16 days of activism against gender-based violence are put into play. Every year it is hoped by the affected parties (women who are being unfairly treated in homes, workplaces, etc) that something more will be done and that words will be translated into action more and more.

These 16 days of activism against gender-based violence are an important number of days and should be publicised in the way that HIV/AIDS programmes have.

There is need to campaign vigorously during these sixteen days and make sure that every woman is reached and every woman is given the chance to speak up.

Activism against gender based violence is not only focused on Zambia, rather it is an international campaign that has been used as an organising strategy by individuals and groups around the world to call for the elimination of any form of violence against women, that hope this campaign will one day be able to completely eradicate the spread of discrimination against women and children alike.

"It is true that stopping the violence based on gender will be tricky but reducing it is definitely possible, if everyone takes up the same thinking to this particular subject it is possible to stop it." Said Lisbon Chaamwe, of the Human Rights Commission (HRC) in Ndola

Gender based violence is largely based on stereotypes that have been around for decades.

All around the world, women have always been put in the light as being inferior and of no good use. It is as if people have become accustomed to women being abused because of their sex and nothing else.

It is true that in areas such as the Eastern Province, a man may see a woman walking and when asked by another pedestrian if he had seen anyone, his reply would be; "No I have not seen anyone, I have only seen a woman."

It is true that the magnitude of abuse cases against women is much higher than the statistics show.

It has come to the concern of activism groups and the HRC that families have become scared to openly admit the violence behind closed doors.

They fear that even if they do express their heartfelt dissatisfaction, they will not receive any support from the law enforcers that work towards reducing this gender based violence.

"We at the Human Rights Commission emphasise that if people have heard about any cases of this nature they must report so that we can understand the true severity of this matter."

At last year's 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence, UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon stated that "violence against women and girls takes many forms and is widespread throughout the globe, whether it is in developing countries or developed countries."

According to the Government, GBV has led to the unnecessary rise in streetism and it is indeed linked to streetism.

So it true to say that GBV will not only affect women but will also affects the society as a whole. Abuse of whatever nature becomes detrimental to the development of a person and subsequently this will hinder the national development.

"We need to stop abuse of any kind whether it is emotional, physical, and social because these are all cardinal to the national development."

Children living in households where there is abuse often flee from their homes and end up on the streets; they tend to try to run away from the volatility at home.

However, this is not to say that the children do not experience violence on the streets, it is violence of a different nature and it is not constantly being done to them as it would be in the household.

Gender based violence will continue to spread if there are no steps taken towards the reduction or eventual eradication of this disease that perpetrators suffer from.

We need not look at the happenings of other countries around the world where gender based violence is rife whilst it is right under our noses.

We need to address the matter that is at hand right at home before we worry about other countries.

As citizens of a nation where gender based violence is still rife it is our duty to stand up against it and reduce the tendency for the abuse and violence in the household, largely against women.

There has been a lot of rhetoric in the past where GBV is concerned, but it is the hopes and in the payers of those women who have been abused that actions will be translated into words.

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