29 November 2012

Zambia: Up Fight Against Gender Violence - UK Minister

VISITING United Kingdom (UK) Minister of International Development Lynne Featherstone has urged Zambia to upscale the fight against Gender Based Violence (GBV) as the vice retards development.

She, however, commended Zambia for the strides made to combat GBV such as the ratification of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) gender protocol and the successful enactment of the Anti-GBV Act last year.

Ms Featherstone, who is in the country on an official visit, said it was worrying that 62 per cent of women believed that GBV was justifiable.

She quoted the Zambia Demographic and Health Survey which indicated that 62 per cent of women and 48 per cent of men believed that GBV was justifiable.

She said Zambia should ensure that stakeholders working to fight GBV collaborated closely to maximise the impact of their work.

She said this during a discussion forum on GBV between Zambia and the United Kingdom in Lusaka yesterday.

Ms Featherstone said domestic violence continued to be the most prevalent form of violence against women and girls globally which undermined their ability to make informed choices.

She said the UK Government was determined to play its part in highlighting and tackling the problem of GBV

"Together these interventions will contribute to the global evidence base on what works to tackle violence against women and girls," Ms Featherstone said.

Gender and Child Development Minister Inonge Wina said the Government was implementing a multi-stakeholder initiative on GBV.

"In order for our visiting delegation to appreciate the status of GBV in Zambia, allow me to start by saying that there is a high correlation between poverty and GBV. Some incidences of GBV in Zambia are a result of poverty-related issues," Ms Wina said.

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