Zambia: Women for Change urges to stop gender based violence

Emily Sikazwe.
(Photo: DanChurchAid)

Religious leaders and politicians have to combine efforts against gender based violence and sexual assaults on children in Zambia, urged Emily Sikazwe, executive director of Women for Change, focal point of Social Watch in that African country.

Women are not an endangered species in Zambia, but sacred special beings, and if the violence does not come to an end, the women movement will crush perpetrators, warned Sikazwe. Her comments followed a recent incident in the city of Ndola, where a woman was stripped in public.

Sikazwe regretted the rising in gender based violence, apparent, for instance, in the growing number of girls being abused.

The activist called on all political leaders to stand up against child sexual assaults and gender based violence, and to make efforts to prosecute the perpetrators.

She also thanked the new government for implementing the Gender Based Violence Act. Women for Change members are working with all key stakeholders on the implementation of this legislation, Sikazwe said.

Child sexual assaults and gender based violence should not be treated like a norm in the country, and religious leaders must join the fight against these crimes, she added.

Sikazwe denounced the utilization of women in all kinds of illicit activities, including drug trafficking.

She also asked the government to provide strategic assistance to women and to consider them as key players in development, a role they can not play without a favorable environment that must include the allocation of resources through the budget and the consideration of gender issues in the negotiation of trade agreements.

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