Zimbabwe Intervention Community Health Research (ZICHIRE) through partnership with the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, funded SPOTLIGHT Initiative have partnered to tackle Gender Based Violence, GBV, in Hopely.
The program seeks to generate a clear understanding of the GBV issues that are affecting residents of Hopely and map a way forward in addressing the challenges.
“We are working in partnership with the UNFPA funded Spotlight initiative to tackle GBV, as part of the program we are mainly looking at strengthening institutions and prevention on social norms strategies as called for by the Spotlight Initiative. We believe that through this strategy we will improve the conditions of people in Hopely.” ZICHIRE Spotlight Programs Officer Mukorera Obey said.
The program comes handy in complementing government efforts in addressing the GBV issues that are recurrent especially in the sprawling southern townships of the area.
“This comes as at the most opportune time in addressing the challenges that are being faced by the residents of Hopely. As government we believe that we need to work hand in glove with the development partners in order to meet the challenges faces by the Hopely and other residents.” District Administrator for Waterfalls District Mrs Tagarira said.
The partnership is currently in the information gathering stage with ZICHIRE currently convened in a three-day workshop with Hopely residents and stakeholders.
“We are currently gathering information that should help us in clearly mapping a way forward in terms of structuring the response mechanism’s. We need to have a clear understanding as to how GBV is mainly prevalent in Hopely and in turn design Hopely specific responses.” Mukorera said.
The gathering exposed the main GBV issues existent in Hopely as Financial dependency, a high School dropout rate, poverty, drug abuse as the main GBV forms among other issues.
“School dropouts, poverty and financial dependency of women on men are some of the major challenges that we face as Hopely residents. Drug abuse and poverty are some of the push factors that increase the rate of GBV.” Hopely Resident and Ambassador for Against Child Marriage said.
The program seeks to address the issues that were exposed by the research findings of the UN brainchild Spotlight initiative that the rate of GBV in Zimbabwe is high and there is need to redress.
“The research statistics from which the Spotlight Initiative is premised on present a platform from which we should aim to tackle GBV. The realisations by our partner Spotlight are that35% of women have experienced some form of violence, 15% of those aged 15-49 have experienced sexual abuse in the past 12 months and less than 30% of the cases are reported.” Norma Rakgajana Zichire Spotlight Programs Officer said.
Residents applauded the call to action but urged for a more informed and specific interrogation of the Hopely specific issues to avoid the past failed interventions.
“This is a good step taken towards addressing the vast challenges we face as Hopely residents but we need to have an understanding of what the Hopely residents expect. A lot of development partners have failed to address the challenges they sought because they came with self-prescribed responses to our Hopely problems. We are happy that this initiative has sought understanding of our challenges in Hopely.” Keneth Karuru a resident of Hopely said.
The program specifically addresses the issues in Sustainable Development Goal, SDG, number five Gender equality despite cutting across most other SDG’s.