Sweden says it stands ready to work with all its partners in Zimbabwe to support efforts in ending corporal punishment, gender based violence and to achieve full protection of the rights of the children and women in the country.

This was said by the Swedish Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Sofia Calltorp as the world marks 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence.

She said UN member states must seek to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and deliver quality and universal healthcare, quality education and gender equality.

“Other key issues include ending violence against children and gender-based violence; building peaceful and inclusive societies; decreasing inequality, and environmental protection to ensure global sustainability. Gender equality, as a goal and as enabler puts the criticality of empowerment of girls and women on the overall growth and development by harnessing the participation of over 50% of the society on equal measure,” said Calltorp.

She said Sweden is a living testimony that protecting and investing in people, including children, has immensely contributed to its economic development and progress.

“At an early stage, Sweden put legal frameworks to protect children and has one of the world’s oldest and most comprehensive social protection policies. Sweden’s experience has showed that investing in the poor and vulnerable section of society, is an investment for a better economic development and social cohesion. Advancing the rights of our children, therefore, is an investment for the next generation,” the Ambassador said. 

“There are several studies that establish that domestic violence has a negative impact on children’s psycho-social development and that violence generates violence to the next generation – perpetuating a vicious cycle of violence, poverty and vulnerability,” she added.

Zimbabwe is signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination on all forms of Discrimination Against Women which both stress the absolute importance of a good family environment and the need for community support to parents in crisis.

The conventions also establish that women and children have the same rights as the rest of the members of society and should be protected from all forms of violence.