MCA Good Husband initiative timely effort
Published On February 8, 2014 » 2692 Views» By Davies M.M Chanda » Features
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Gender Issues LogoTHE step taken by Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) to train 20 men as its ambassadors to spearhead Its “Good Husband Campaign” aimed at reducing rising cases of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) against women in Eastern Province  is a step in right direction.
Agreeably, the initiative by YMCA to have the 20 men spearhead its campaign aimed at reducing rising cases of SGBV in Eastern Province could not have come at a better time than now when the vices are on the increase.
So far, Luangeni and Kasenengwa constituencies in Eastern province have recorded the highest SGBV and defilement cases.
Evidently, there is need to quickly spread the campaigns to other areas of the province and ultimately to all provinces in an effort to fight SGBV through which lives are being lost.
In fact, it is only last week that a 36-year-old woman of Chipata, in chief Mpezeni’s area was killed by her husband after a domestic dispute.
The campaign by YMCA will no doubt help in reducing SGBV cases against women.
However, in rooting out these vices from the community and society at large, it is important to acknowledge that culture and societal beliefs contribute to the increase of SGBV cases, not only in Eastern Province but the country as a whole.
For example, in some societies and communities, especially in the rural areas, some people still believe that sleeping with a virgin cure HIV/AIDS.
To some this may be shocking but these beliefs are still embedded in some sections of society.
Agreeably, such believes have no doubt contributed to the increase of defilement cases.
On the other hand, in some cultures, wife beating is acceptable to men and women, which in many cases have lead to physical abuse of women and in some cases even to deaths.
Arguably, culture also demands for women to respect their husbands, which to an extent lead to women being abused physically and sexually by their spouses all in the name of culture.
This, it has been argued, lead to women contracting HIV/AIDS in some cases.
To this end, some sections in society have called for the abolishment of traditions and customs which violent on women’s rights.
Mr Timothy Mambi, who works in the area of Gender and HIV but contributing to the column in his personal capacity, said some cultural beliefs in society should be done away with as they continue to contribute to the abuse of women in society.
The First Lady, Dr Christine Kaseba,  also registered her displeasure during the commissioning of a one-stop centre for GBV survivors in Solwezi last year, that it was unfortunate that some people  use traditional beliefs to inflict pain and overpower women.
It is against this back ground, that there is need for Government and NGO’s to fight SGBV in Zambia putting into perspective the role that culture plays.
Agreeably, as Mr Mambi clearly stated, there is a need to do away with some customs and traditional practices that infringe on women’s rights, if indeed the fight against SGBV is to be won.
Doing away with some customs and traditional practices that infringe on women’s rights is indeed a step in the right direction, bearing in mind that culture shapes the behaviour of people, gender roles and expectations in society.
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