Govt, EU, UN partner to end gender based violence

By Natalie Chiwomadzi

ZIMBABWE has partnered with the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) to end violence against women and girls under the Spotlight Initiative Country Program.

According to the program, Zimbabwe is among the eight countries in African that have been chosen to benefit from 22 million Euros that has been donated towards the initiative.

Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Amon Murwira who spoke on behalf of President Emmerson Mnangagwa at the launch of the initiative said the government will remain committed to the partnership.

“The government will remain committed in the partnership on strengthening the laws and policies that protect women rights and criminalise early child marriage through the program”, he said.

Murwira added that “it is clear that our framework is sound but more work needs to be done and to bring the change we must not be afraid to take a step.

“I am glad that the document was formed and built on an existing objective like Transitional Stabilisation Program (TSP) and our vision 2030,” he said.

Speaking at the same event, Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Sithembiso Nyoni said the Spotlight Initiative is a global program supported by EU and UN and will introduce new systems without violating Ubuntu.

“No one should be left behind as we march in towards our vision 2030 of eliminating violence in women and girls as one of our key national objectives,” she said.

The program aims at bringing problems faced by women and girls on spotlight involving a cross section and elimination of violence and gender inequality. It is also a four-year joint program which will run from 2019 to 2022.

“We are committed and I want to tell you that after two years, the results on the ground will mark the justification of the continuation of the program in Zimbabwe,” said Nyoni.

Christian Leffler from the European Union told delegates at the meeting that they are placing a spotlight on women and girls as they are a vulnerable group that is been hugely affected by violence which usually thrives in silence and in the darkest corners of society.

“The program will focus on 23 districts of Zimbabwe, 2.8 million women will benefit directly and over 8 million will benefit indirectly as we stand up to fight and protect this vulnerable group,” Leffler said.

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