Nokutenda Chiyangwa and Andrew Muvishi
Zimbabwe joined the rest of the world yesterday as it launched the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence campaign, which is meant to raise awareness on gender based violence and its effects on women. Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda and the Ambassador of the Netherlands, Ms Barbra van Hellemond, attended the launch, which was held at the Parliament Building in Harare.
The launch also marked the 2018 International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and guests wore the tribute colour -orange.
Adv Mudenda said that men and women share the same virtue of dignity at all times, therefore, the dark side of gender-based violence should always be etched on humanity’s mind as a way of eliminating it.
“The remembrance of this occasion should not have timelines,” he said. “It must be an occasion that we remember each day of our lives because if we remember only for 16 days, chances are that we may forget.
“I would also like this campaign to be extended to our education system. It is essential that we review our laws, so that we come up with robust legislation to deal with perpetrators even though we already have some in place.
“Empowerment of the woman should be a priority in our society. Let’s recapture the cultural base that puts the woman in a special place in the family.”
Ambassador Van Hellemond said gender equality could only be achieved in a society in which the prevalence of gender based violence was low.
“There is no excuse for violence,” she said. “Sometimes we need to push the boundaries to move forward. We have the tools and legislation at our disposal to make this pandemic violence stop.”
Ambassador Van Hellemond announced that the campaign would be recognising 16 gender champions and each one of them will, on different days, receive a bouquet of orange roses to honour them.
Adv Mudenda was the first to be recognised yesterday and he received his roses from the ambassador as acknowledgement for his gender activism.
He was also named Ambassador of the “He-for-She” initiative, a global campaign aimed at calling for men and boys to use their clout to promote gender equality.