YOUTH NAD will this year organize a massive one week campaign on gender based violence to mark the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence commemorations in the form of outreach activities in Nkayi and Chiredzi districts. This year’s theme is “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Lets Challenge Militarism and End Gender Based Violence” Commemorations will bring together hundreds of people made up of various stakeholders, i.e. in school youths, out of school youths, local leaders and the community at large to interact and share strategies that can used to fight gender based violence. The campaign aims to influence change of mindset and for people to speak out against harmful cultural practices and beliefs that disadvantage the girl child in rural communities while at the same time fomenting child sexual abuse and gender based violence.
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence is a global campaign originating from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute sponsored by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991. Participants chose the dates November 25- International Day Against Violence Against Women- and December 10- International Human Rights Day- in order to symbolically link violence against women and human rights and to emphasize that such violence is a violation of human rights. It rightfully stresses that gender-based violence is an international human rights violation.
Around the globe, in the lead up to, and during, the 16 days of activism, participants will highlight the systemic nature of gender-based violence and militarism which encourages inequality and discrimination and prioritizes weapons spending over funding for quality education and healthcare and safe public spaces. The culture of militarism builds on and protects systems of power by controlling dissent and using violence to settle economic, political and social disputes. Militarism draws on and perpetuates patriarchal models of political, economic, and social domination of people by a small number of elites and privileges violent masculinity as acceptable behavior. The 16 Days Campaign focus on the intersections of gender-based violence and militarism is an effort to work toward a more equitable and peaceful world.
At a glance statistics proved that Nkayi has a record of high prevalence for abuse even by close relatives and family members and hence the plight of a woman and girl child cannot be over emphasized. Padare/Enkundleni/Men’s Forum on Gender collaborating with Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) (2010) reported that it learnt of the existence of serious gender based violence cases, i.e. 39 cases of domestic violence were reported, with 38 cases involving men as perpetrators and only one case that involve a woman as perpetrator. Child abuse cases were also reported. Chiredzi district has recorded an increase in cases of Gender Based violence, Musasa project (2014) reported that cases have doubled from 1500 in 2012 to 3500 cases by March 2014. Economic and conjugal rights issues being the major contributors. In addition the Department of Social Welfare (2011) reported that Nkayi district has alarming levels of sexual abuse, child abuse and children not going to school when they complete their Grade 7 and the majority of these are the girl child. This is glaring and empirical evidence that that levels of Gender based violence are high in these two communities.
The outcomes of the campaign are expected to be empowered women who are able to report cases of Gender Based Violence in the communities, safety nets created in communities for victims of Gender Based Violence. Early warning mechanisms established to detect cases of Gender based violence and reported and prosecution of perpetrators of Gender Based Violence taking place. YOUTH NAD invites stakeholders to join in the campaign.