The Sunday Mail
ZIMBABWE has adopted “All lives matter: End gender-based violence now!” as the theme for this year’s commemorations of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence (GBV).
The theme was coined to highlight the urgent need to find lasting solutions to cases of young girls being sexually abused and intimate partner murders.
This year’s theme also puts into perspective concerns of cases of men and women who resort to killing their children before they commit suicide after failing to manage domestic disputes.
In a press address on Tuesday, Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Minister Dr Sithembiso Nyoni said Government was putting across a message that no one must lose their lives because of GBV.
“Disputes can be resolved amicably. Let us encourage each one of us to explore other means of solving disputes,” she said.
“These sad events are happening in homes and communities, with parents and guardians also being found at the centre of concealing some of the despicable incidences of abuse, especially of minors, leading to loss of lives. What society have we become? Who shall be there to protect the family institution?”
The nation is currently grappling with news of a nine-year-old Tsholotsho girl who recently gave birth to a baby girl through a caesarean section after being raped.
Another 8-year-old from Bindura also fell pregnant after being allegedly raped by two teenage brothers from the same area.
In another shocking case, a Chivhu woman is facing four counts of murdering her four daughters by slitting their throats and setting the family house on fire.
She claimed in her defence outline that she was psychotic and in an abusive marriage.
And earlier in August, a male bouncer committed suicide by downing cyanide following claims of marital problems he was experiencing.
As part of strategies to mitigate such challenges, UN resident and humanitarian coordinator Mr Edward Kallon said: “I cannot overemphasise the importance of having better education opportunities for girls, especially in secondary and tertiary education.
“Data also shows that the level of education and wealth has an impact on the first marriage.
“When girls have no education, their average marriage age is 17,8 years, whereas when girls have more secondary education, their average age at marriage is 23,4 years.”
The 16 days of activism against GBV are marked annually from November 25 to December 10.