Once a person understands what Gender Based Violence (GBV) entails, he or she can be able to contribute significantly to real changes towards a better world, therefore the fight against GBV becomes a win situation and done deal.
Violence directed against a person because of their gender or violence that affects persons of a particular gender disproportionately is the term used to describe GBV.
However, the feminist gender is at the forefront and at an increased risk of exposure to GBV as compared to the masculine gender.
This segregation of violence stems from women’s subordinate state in the society.
It should be done away with as it poses a great threat for the future and if not addressed effectively and immediately, it can cause serious detrimental ties.
A clear call for action should be put in place and actioned to achieve this goal.
Understanding gender is the key to developing strategies of personal transformation to end violence, acknowledging that the causes and solutions to violence are at personal, political and structural levels.
The widespread uncertainty that has emerged because of Covid-19, shows that the prevalence of gender-based violence is still difficult to determine, in light of the large number of cases that go unreported, as well as the limited resources often in place for gathering this type of evidence in emergency context.
In addition, due to the physical distancing and movement restrictions that have been put in place across the world to curb the pandemic, women and girls are at more risk of experiencing violence at the hands of family members, intimate partners or other people living within their homes.
GBV has been recognised and discussed as a public rather than a private problem.
As we speak, GBV cases have risen by about 60 percent, especially within the imposed Covid-19 induced national lockdowns.
Looking at the rate at which the cases are rising, it clearly indicates that as a nation we need to take up arms in fighting this deadly shadow pandemic called GBV.
Approaches to GBV have been implemented and these include human rights, health and development.
One should not be a by-stander in the helping process, but also actively advocate against GBV, be it in the home, community or private sectors.
As such, these actions should not exclusively be left to be a women’s concern, but rather a concern for both genders.
The topic should not be merely about survivors or the women who have been abused, but also those who abuse, as well as those who fund for the support of gender based violence initiatives.
This year’s advocating challenge should not be any different and we must work together as a nation to eradicate this social vice.
Is it possible to achieve this, some might ask?
The answer is yes, it starts with you and me. Being aware of what GBV entails is the first crucial step.
Raised awareness about GBV should be a priority and ignorance should be done away with.
One should be inspired by young boys and girls who are fighting against GBV, hence our leaders would take a leaf from young GBV champions.
Addressing hotspot areas where GBV prevails, for example, violence that occurs at public spaces such as water points and engaging with the community is another vital step.
There is need to create more employment opportunities for women so that they can help to fend for the family, reducing quarrels and GBV in homes as another way to address the situation.
Differential impacts of policies on both men and women should be looked into and new polices can also be implemented that support, protect women and girls against perpetrators of abuse.
The government and other stakeholders can also assist in the provision of water facilities so that the water crisis is minimised.
Ekenia Chifamba is the director of Shamwari Yemwanasikana