Women should report to police husbands or partners who sexually abuse their children or dependants, Kembe Member of Parliament Princess Kasune has said. Ms Kasune said women should speak out on gender-based violence (GBV) involving their girl children regardless of who the perpetrator is.
She said this yesterday at the Non-Governmental Organisations Coordinating Council (NGOCC) secretariat during the launch of the social media campaign dubbed ‘Hashtag Hear Me Too’, which is part of the 16 days of activism against GBV.
“The tendency of keeping quiet is killing us. Desperation of keeping our marriage or relationship should not make us entertain GBV against our girl child,” Ms Kasune said.
The lawmaker said GBV victims are tormented for life and it is, therefore, important that the vice is prevented from happening. Ms Kasune said there are also men who are violated but have no space to share their ordeal. NGOCC executive director Engwase Mwale said silence, stigma and impunity have allowed violence against women to worsen.
“In 2015, from the statistics, it is clear that over the last few years, GBV has been on the upswing especially against women and girls,” she said.
Ms Mwale said voices of survivors of GBV through campaigns have in the past reached a huge number of people that cannot be silenced any more.
Former Law Association of Zambia president Linda Kasonde said GBV is a social problem which starts with the upbringing of a child.
Ms Kasonde said it is worrying that the abuse of women has been taken to social media through cyber-bullying.
“Women who are expressing themselves are being attacked on social media. This is very unfortunate,” she said. She called on leaders to be actively involved in the fight against GBV. Musician Maureen Lilanda said GBV awareness should focus on young people and women who are the most affected. Zambia National Men’s Network chairperson Nelson Banda said the proposal to have men who defile girls and rape women castrated has received massive support, and a petition will soon be presented to Parliament.
Mr Banda said so far, 500 people have signed the petition. “We have been told that this is a human rights issue, but what about the abused women and girls, don’t