ANTI GENDER BASED VIOLENCE FAIR
“From Peace in the home to peace in the world, Lets unite to fight against Gender Based violence”.
Women and Law in Southern Africa Research and Education Trust hosted the Anti-Gender Based Violence Fair at Talent Village in Mabvuku on 09 December 2016. The coordination of the event was supported by Ministry of Women Affairs Gender and Community Development (MWAGCD) Mabvuku District Officials and WLSA empowerment circle members in the district. The event was hosted courtesy of supplementary budget from We Effect
The stakeholder who were present together with empowerment circle leaders from different districts and wards took turns to give solidarity messages on what 16 days of activism against GBV were about and they also explained their roles in the communities on issues of Gender Based Violence. The VFU gave their message on Gender based violence and the law. They gave emphasis on the referral pathways where they encouraged the community that in the event that any type of gender based violence is occurring or occurs to them or their neighbors they can visit the nearest ZRP Victim Friendly Unit (VFU) department. Participants were encouraged to report cases of domestic violence as quickly as possible so that victims receive medical treatment before contracting unwanted pregnancies, HIV in cases of rape or death and internal injury.
Empowerment circle leaders gave brief highlights on what they were trained on and the link between the training and GBV. The empowerment circles indicated that the trainings were meant to economically empower women and reduce poverty. The reduction in poverty would also assist them to be more assertive, to know and claim their rights in the community. They encouraged the community to empower themselves especially women and girls so that they will not depend on men for everything since over dependence on men makes them vulnerable to domestic violence. Empowerment circles leaders brought their products for exhibition and among these included dishwasher, cobra, engine cleaner, honey, eggs, hats and shoes among others.
Presentation of certificates
WLSA took the opportunity to show appreciation to individuals who work tirelessly in trying to reduce and end Gender Based Violence in their communities. These individuals refer cases to different stakeholders, the refer people to WLSA helpdesk sessions, they mobilise people for WLSA trainings and they speak against out Gender Based Violence in their communities. WLSA termed these individuals as Gender Champions and they were taken from the empowerment circle groups. Four Gender Champions received Certificates of appreciation, one male and 3 female. These were from Mabvuku/Tafara, Epworth, Norton and Hopley. These certificates where presented to the members by the WLSA board Chairperson Mrs. Makwara and the WLSA board member Mr. Matsika.
Guest of Honor Key note Address
The guest of honor was the Provincial Development Officer for Harare Province Mr. Chimboza. He stated that girls and boys are vulnerable to different forms of violence in and around the education system. He gave statistics of 4 500 school dropouts recorded in 2016 and the highest number being of girls because of child marriages. He encouraged the community to protect each other against violence. He encouraged the community to end child marriages since it affect the future of the children. He went on to give effects of child marriages. He told the community that the government is trying its best to stop GBV. The government together with the civil society are working on the enactment of GBV act. However in the meantime everyone is being protected by the domestic violence act. There is also one stop Centre in Gweru, Gwanda and Rusape for the victim of GBV.
The guest of honor praised the work done by WLSA in the community especially for creating empowerment circles saying that the community should make use of that opportunity. He further said that WLSA and other stakeholders are complementing the government efforts in fighting against GBV. He also encouraged man to continue to be the champion gears to stop all forms of GBV.
Mr. Chimboza concluded by emphasizing that the violence against women and girls should not be a cause for concern for Zimbabwe and other countries around the world during the 16 days of activism but it should be a culture that is adopted and fostered throughout the year