domestic violence.jpgSome non-governmental organisations have taken the initiative to support the legislative reforms adopted by the government that promote the protection of women’s rights.

This comes as the country joins the rest of the world in observing 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence, which fall between the 25th of November to the 10th of December around the world.

According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) one in every three women has been beaten or subjected to physical, sexual and psychological abuse. 

In an effort to involve communities and to create support networks for gender based violence victims, the Southern Africa Aids Information Dissemination Service (SAFAIDS) is running a programme called “Changing the river’s flow.”

The three year programme being carried out in five countries namely; Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Namibia, South Africa and Mocambique aims to break the silence and ensure that victims’ voices are heard.

Speaking on the sidelines of a regional meeting held in Harare recently, SAFAIDS Executive Director, Ms Loice Chingandu said while male dominance is rooted in the way boys and men are socialised, traditional chiefs can play a significant role in ensuring that cases of domestic violence are dealt with rather than being swept under the carpet.

Several harmful traditional practices have contributed to how society views men and women, but Chief Mzweleni Dlamini from Swaziland and Headman Richman Rangwani of Mhondoro-Ngezi were in agreement that attitudes regarding how men and women are treated are now changing for the better.       

As the country observes 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence, victims are being reminded that violence is sustained by a culture of silence and for the abuse to end, victims need to speak out.

This year, the international theme is “From peace in the home to peace in the world-lets challenge militarism and end violence against women.”