Men have the solutions to gender violence

Gender justice is the aim of a new programme that encourages men to discuss solutions to gender-based violence.

Padare/Enkundleni/Men’s Forum on Gender has spearheaded the Men’s Dialogue project, starting in Mutasa, Kariba, Nkayi, Nyanga, Shurugwi and Mutare rural.

Men’s Dialogue provides a platform for men to offer solutions on how best they can contribute towards reducing gender-based violence in their communities. Director of the Forum Kelvin Hazangwi said the project stemmed from the need to raise awareness of the prevalence of gender-based violence at community level.

“Currently, the problem is that when statistics for gender-based violence are released, they are mostly at district, provincial and national level and communities dissociate themselves from them,” said Hazangwi.

Padare, in partnership with the community leadership, is working with the police, courts and victim support and is also compiling localized statistics.

Said Hazangwi: “This way will ensure that men within communities appreciate the importance of fighting violence within their homes. “This programme aims at encouraging men to be responsible and come up with homegrown initiatives that promote gender justice.”

According to the 2011 Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey, one in four women have reported being a victim of sexual violence. One in three women aged 15 to 49 had experienced physical violence since the age of 15.

Kelvin Hazangwi said of the Men’s Dialogue project: “We want men to pledge their commitment at community level that they are going to promote and guarantee a violence-free community – one that guarantees equal opportunities for development and enables women and men to participate equally in all spheres of life.”

Padare is a movement of men and boys advocating for gender equity in Zimbabwe that operates in rural and urban areas.

The fight against violence is also being taken up again by the Associoation for Women’s Rights in Development. Based on feedback from their 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, the association proposed a new theme for 2013: From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence Against Women.

“The 16-day campaign will focus on three priority areas while underlining the intersections of economic and social rights with militarism and gender-based violence,” reads a statement from AWID.

“Violence perpetrated by state actors where they use threats or act of violence to maintain power; domestic violence, and the role of small arms and sexual violence during and after conflict are the three priority areas that need redress.”

Post published in: News
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