Sweden And Ireland Commit To Fighting GBV

By Faith Zvorufura

The government of Sweden and Ireland yesterday (Thursday) signed an agreement of cooperation with the United Nations committing US$4.7 million towards supporting a Joint Programme on Zero Tolerance to Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Zimbabwe.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, UN Resident Coordinator, Bishow Parajuli said gender equality needs to be addressed first to achieve the Agenda 2030.

“Unless we address gender equality and end gender based violence in all its forms and manifestations, it will be difficult to achieve the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and its other 16 goals,

“United Nations together with partners is committed to advance integrated programmes of women and girls’ empowerment in social, political and economic spheres as well as protection of their rights zealously to pave the way to ending the sexual and gender based violence,” he said.

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Parajuli added that more partners are needed to join hands with relevant and local institutions to enforce laws and norms against gender based violence in schools.

 “There is need for more partners to join hands with resource and relevant national and local institutions to enforce laws and norms against GBV in the schools, the police, the courts and care and counselling services,

“And it is when these institutions work together to address gender based violence that one can break its vicious cycle,” added Parajuli.

The 2015 Zimbabwe Demographic Health Survey confirms that violence against women and girls remains a huge problem with at least 1 in every 3 women aged 15-49 having experienced physical violence since 15 and 27% of women in the same age group have experienced sexual violence at some point in their lives.

 Speaking at the ceremony, His Excellency Liam MacGabhann, Ambassador of Ireland to Zimbabwe said as a government they were happy to supporting such initiatives and will continue to do so in the fight against GBV.

“Ireland recognizes the devastating consequences of GBV for all in the society, as a result a significant part of the Embassy’s Five Year Strategy focuses on combating GBV working together with CSO and government partners,

“We are happy today to be able to provide support the Joint Programme on GBV and welcome its multi-sectoral approach,” said MacGabhann.

Permanent Secretary for Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, Sibusisiwe Zembe said with the joint programme, government will continue to prioritize multi-sectoral approaches to address the scourge.

“Gender Based Violence is complex, manifesting itself in different ways and therefore in implementing this joint programme, the government will continue to prioritize multi-sectoral and coordinated approaches to effectively address the scourge,

“Upholding survivor cantered interventions and human rights based approaches will also be at the heart of our GBV interventions,” said Zembe.

The support from Governments of Sweden and Ireland comes five days after launch of a National Programme on Zero Tolerance for GBV 365.

The programme provides the road map for addressing GBV in Zimbabwe and calls for a multi sectoral approach to the challenge.

Source: allafrica.com

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