GENDER based violence is a social problem that originates from our homes and manifests in how we raise our children, says Linda Kasonde. Speaking at the launch of the Non-governmental Gender Organisations’ Coordinating Council social media campaign against Gender Based Violence.
Kasonde, the former Law Association of Zambia president, said it was a crime based on power dynamics.
Kasonde said she was fortunate to have a positive upbringing, which taught her that in a home, each member had a role to play.
“Gender based violence consists of sexual, physical, Psychological, emotional and even financial harm done to people based on their gender. The range of offences that constitutes gender based violence is so huge. With GBV, it’s so very well to arrest perpetrators and lock them up but it’s really just a social problem and that social problem originates from a home, it’s how we raise our children, it’s how we raise children to think about a place of a woman in society, it’s how we think about a place of a woman in society, how we think about whether a woman should have a voice, what she should be able to say or what she should be able to do. GBV is a crime based on power dynamics that someone feels they have more power than somebody else and feel they can squash somebody else based on those power dynamics,” Kasonde said.
She said the relationships between men and women should be one of partnership as opposed to one being viewed as superior over the other.
Kasonde said as a member of LAZ, she used her voice to advocate for Constitutionalism, rule of law and human rights.
She said that she noted that her voice as a woman was treated as something that did not belong in the Wider space because she was outspoken.
And HIV/AIDS activists Princes Kasune Zulu said sometimes women send wrong signals as they are torn between being appreciated and violation of their rights.
“Sometimes even us women send wrong signals because in one place we want to be appreciated, wanted and patted wherever and in another we don’t want to…even I still struggle with it as a member of parliament because I am still a young person, a women but I think what is critical to us is begin to realise that when the advance is unwanted, however it may come should be respected and seen as violence against that individual,” Kasune said.
Kasune, the Keembe member of parliament, advised women and mothers against placing their children second to marriage.
She said the attachment placed on marriage was killing the fight against Gender Based Violence.
“This is a call to my fellow women out there, let’s not put our girl child or dependents who are female second to marriages, this is killing us. I remember in school where our friend could not report that her brother-in-law was molesting her because that would be the end of them and will have to go to the village. As women we have a responsibility to stand up so that those facing GBV, they too can be heard but if we are in the forefront as women because we are in the forefront to get married, desperate to protect the breadwinner, this social problem will never go away,” said Kasune.