All set for 16 days against gender-based violence

SEVERAL activities have been lined up to mark this year’s edition of 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, which was launched on Thursday by Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development minister Sithembiso Nyoni.

BY VANESSA GONYE

Activities ranging from awareness campaigns, radio programmes, social media campaigns and talk shows have been organised to cover the 16 days, with the main event set to be held on December 7 in Mutare.

While launching the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, Nyoni said government was committed to protecting its citizens against all forms of gender-based violence.

This year’s commemorations will be held under the theme Creating Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment in the Work Place.

“For too long, sexual harassment in the workplace has largely been tolerated, condoned and in most instances, normalised through societal and cultural beliefs that condone the culture of violence. These beliefs are then translated into organisational cultures that do not uphold mutual respect, thereby fuelling sexual harassment in the workplace; adversely affecting productivity, efficiency and effectiveness of the victims of this malpractice,” Nyoni said.

Gender-based organisations have made reservations for the 16-day event and were banking on making it a success.

“We are going to have a Dandaro Remakuhwa with young women from Chitungwiza and Hopley. This is a space we meet as young women to discuss different issues affecting us.
The name of the space comes from the need to demystify the myth that whenever we meet as women, we meet to gossip and never discuss anything progressive,” Coezett Chirinda, from Justice for Women in Zimbabwe, said.

She said young women would be discussing issues of gender-based and sexual violence as happened in their communities.

“It will also be a platform for them to come up with an advocacy plan on how to deal with these issues, which will also inform our 2019 programming,” she said.

Women Action Group has also made plans for an event where they would mainly be concentrating on various mediums of communication to raise awareness on issues to do with gender-based violence.

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