By KELVIN MUDENDA –
ZAMBIA has recorded a decline in the number of Gender Based Violence (GBV) cases.
According to the latest statistics from the Victim Support Unit (VSU) of the Zambia Police Service, 5,040 GBV cases were recorded in the first quarter of 2020 countrywide, compared to 5584 cases recorded during the same period in 2019.
The figures represented a decline of 544 cases in comparison to 2019.
Ministry of Gender assistant director gender rights protection Norbert Bukoka said despite the decline, GBV still remained a serious public health problem which affected a lot of people in Zambia.
Mr Bukoka said Government was deeply concerned with the escalating cases of GBV in the country and that the perpetration of violence against women and children was of great concern to Government.
He said citizens could not live lives free of GBV and enjoy healthy-supportive and gender –equitable relationships if there were no coordinated efforts to curb the devastating vice.
Mr Bukoka said this during the stakeholders’ multi-disciplinary training on management of GBV organised by the Zambia Centre for Communication Programmes (ZCCP) in Livingstone.
He said the effects of GBV could be devastating, long lasting and had a negative impact on victims’ health, economic productivity and psychological state.
“The effects of GBV do not only affect the victim and their immediate family, but goes beyond the boundaries of the family to community and the nation at large,”Mr Bukoka said.
He said Government through the Ministry of Gender, recognised the role that various stakeholders such as ZCCP played in the fight against GBV.
He encouraged stakeholders to actively engage communities and raise awareness on the evils of GBV.
He said as the country intensified its fight against GBV, Government in collaboration with its cooperating partners had taken advantage of the opportunities offered by emerging issues and new developments such as the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in tackling gender inequality and GBV.