by Rungano Dzikira
The Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development this Thursday launched the Gender Based Violence (GBV) online information portal, as Government intensifies efforts to end gender perpetrated violence which has remained a malady over the years.
The portal launch which coincide with the commemorations of the 16 days of activism against GBV held every December in the country is set to ensure a coordinated approach amongst all GBV actors (civic organisations, NGOs, Government) in order to end violence.
Speaking during the launch at the Harare International Conference Centre, this Thursday, Minister Stembiso Nyoni said that this initiative was aimed at aiding the Government achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG5), which seeks to achieve gender equality and empower women and girls.
“This initiative was a collaborated efforts of the Ministry of Women Affairs, the Anti-Domestic Violence Council, with the support from UNFPA. It provides a platform for a multi-sectoral response to ensure that appropriate, timely and quality services are provided to the survivors of gender based violence.”
“The online portal’s focus will be on the implementation of GVB prevention and response mechanisms so as to reduce duplication of efforts while providing greater access to services for GBV on a national scale,” she said.
She therefore urged the general public to embrace the new technologies (online portal) to end GBV, as the nation embraces the slogan “information is knowledge, and knowledge is power” in line with Government’s coordinated efforts to end GBV.
GBV remains a challenge in Zimbabwe with statistic from the Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey (ZDHS) – 2015 proving that the overall prevalence rate of GBV rested on 35%, with 14% of women aged 15-49 having experienced sexual violence and 25% reported experiencing physical violence since the age of 15.
The portal will therefore act as the coordinating bridge amongst all concerned stakeholders, and important tool in achieving the “Zero tolerance for GBV 365”, a national programme for GBV prevention and response coordinated spear-headed by Government.
The online portal also comes at a time when the Ministry and its stakeholders are commemorating 16 days of activism against GBV which is running under the theme, “Creating Zero Tolerance to sexual harassment at the workplace.”