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Zambia launches campaign against gender-based violence

“Abuse, Just Stop It”

LUSAKA, ZAMBIA 29 October 2009 – Zambian President, His Excellency, Mr. Rupiah Bwezani Banda, today launched the National Communication Strategy against Gender-based Violence. The President called on all stakeholders to ensure that there is enough information through all media channels to empower the Zambian people to fully realize their rights and campaign against gender-based violence. He said gender-based violence is now the number two scourge in the country, next only to HIV and AIDS, in ravaging local society.

The theme of the campaign is “Abuse, Just Stop It.”

“HIV/AIDS has become the nation’s number one enemy. Second is the sexual- and gender-based violence, and almost silent is the problem of human trafficking,” said President Banda.

The President has declared zero tolerance against perpetrators of these gross human rights violations.

“I as the President of Zambia state that the only action required is zero tolerance. This whole situation creates an emergency in the case of Zambia as well throughout Africa. I would like to reiterate that my Government attaches great importance to creating conditions where women and children, and indeed men, live in harmony,” said President Banda.

The acting United Nations Resident Coordinator, Dual Owusu-Sarfo, called for concerted efforts from all stakeholders to tackle gender-based violence. He thanked Government for the leadership and commitment it has shown in combating the scourge.

“I’m delighted to note that the Government of Zambia has committed itself to addressing gender imbalances existing at all levels and is trying to accord women and men equal rights and opportunities in development. This is evidenced by Zambia’s participation in formulating and signing international and regional instruments on human and gender, including the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women and Children and the Convention on the Rights of the Child,” said Owusu-Sarfo.

Others who spoke at the launch included the European Union Head of Delegation in Zambia, Dr. Derek Fee, and Michael Koplovsky, U.S. Deputy Ambassador to Zambia.

“Protection has always been central to UNICEF’s work, and in Zambia we are committed to ensure that this includes the protection of women and children from violence. This requires action and commitment from all levels of Zambian society. We believe this communication strategy will go a long way towards ensuring that the problem of gender-based violence in Zambia is eradicated,” says Elspeth Erickson, UNICEF Zambia Deputy Representative.

The launch marked the beginning of a number of GBV-related activities, top among them road shows that will be held in five districts (Mazabuka, Mansa, Kasama, Ndola and Livingstone) in the month of November alone. The road shows will be preceded by school debates in five district schools; drama shows in three district communities; and a mobile video van that will be showing films and documentaries on GBV. Radio programmes on GBV have already started running on community radio stations in the five districts.

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For more information, please contact:
Patrick Slavin, Chief, Communications, UNICEF Zambia
Tel + 260-1-252055,
E-mail: pslavin@unicef.org

James Simasiku, Communications for Development, UNICEF Zambia
Tel + 260-1-252055
E-mail: jsimasiku@unicef.org


 

 

 

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