Mzimba — pic sourced from internet
M'mbelwa District Council has intensified community awareness campaign in three of its traditional authorities as one way of curbing gender-based violence (GBV).
The campaign which is being implemented with funding from United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA) through ActionAid under Spotlight Initiative Programme targets the areas of Paramount Chief M'mbelwa V and traditional authorities (TA) Chindi and Mzukuzuku.
M'mbelwa District Council Social Welfare Officer, Bernard Nangwale, said some GBV survivors lack knowledge on where to report after being abused hence the campaigns.
Nangwale said during the campaign, the council through his office will be disseminating messages about available services for redress of GBV cases at both community and district levels.
"We noted that very few cases have been reported to One Stop Centre at Mzimba District Hospital yet we hear of so many cases from different areas across the district.
"The campaign is, therefore, is meant to create awareness about the comprehensive services that are offered at this center among other services," said Nangwale.
Nangwale said the initiative also gears at civic educating the public so that they have the right information about women and children protection and reporting systems.
"Child marriages, rape, and defilement are criminal offences which need to be reported to relevant authorities for redress for a GBV free society," he explained.
ActionAid District Facilitator for Mzimba, Takondwa Moyo, said the organization decided to fund the initiative in complementing the council's efforts in providing information on GBV and Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) laws and rights.
"Through this campaign, our expectation is that we will increase demand access to SRH services thereby reducing cases of GBV, early and teenage pregnancies," Moyo said.
It is expected that duty bearers and members of the general public will be in the forefront in protecting women and children from GBV and ARH issues by the end of the campaign