Major setback for GBV programming

Failure by government to avail resources towards Gender Based Violence strategies and programming through the women’s affairs ministry for the past three years is impacting negatively on the problem.

The Ministry of Women’s Affairs received only $170,000 of the $600,000 requested for service provision and co-ordination of GBV strategies. The Permanent Secretary, Perpetua Gumbo, said the ministry’s plans for 2014 include assisting survivors of GBV through the establishment of 10 community-based shelters and 10 one-stop centres.

The Director of the Zimbabwe Women’s Resource Centre and Network, Pamela Mhlanga, said it was government responsibility to provide the core resources for GBV strategies. “For the past three years, the ministry was allocated less than 1 percent of the budget,” she said.

A study done by Gender Links in conjunction with the ministry last year established that at least 68 percent of women have suffered from GBV perpetrated by men.

According to a recent study by women’s lobby groups, Zimbabwe loses close to $2billion annually in gender related costs – including expenses borne by the survivors legally and medically, as well as transport costs incurred as they sought redress. Indirect costs include loss of productive time spent trying to resolve GBV related disputes.

Anti-Domestic Violence Council coordinator Magdalene Chavhunduka said enforcing and monitoring the Anti-Domestic Violence Act was a big challenge due to financial constraints.

“The council is grossly understaffed because of financial constraints. In 2012, the ministry got 0,05 percent of the proposed budget and in 2011, 0,01 percent,” she said.

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