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ZAMBIA National Men’s Network for Gender and Development to launch ‘Trusted men campaign’

ZAMBIA National Men’s Network for Gender and Development will tomorrow launch the ‘Trusted Men Campaign’ to fight gender based violence.

ZNMNGD national coordinator Nelson Banda said the campaign’s aim was mobilising men and boys from all walks of life to fight the escalating cases of Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in the country.

He said the Trusted Men Campaign would reach out to men because they were influential to convince others across communities to change their negative attitudes towards women and girls and begin to challenge the socialisation process.

“The Zambia National Men’s Network for Gender and Development (ZNMNGD) is delighted to disclose that in making its contribution to the fight against Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) will this week on Wednesday 28thAugust, 2019 be officially launching a unique campaign called the ‘TRUSTED MEN CAMPAIGN’,” Banda said. “The campaign, the first of its kind is aimed at mobilising men and boys from all walks of life and backgrounds to fight the escalating cases of SGBV in the country.”

He said the campaign would also deal with retrogressive cultural practices that hinder women and girls from reaching their full potential.

Banda explained that boys would be the targets in the said campaign so that they are “caught whilst young in an effort to see them grow into responsible and gender sensitive men.”

“The ‘Trusted Men Campaign’ will reach out to men because they are influential to convince fellow men across communities to change their negative attitudes towards women and girls and begin to challenge the socialisation process including dealing with retrogressive cultural practices that hinder women and girls from reaching their full potential,” he said. “Boys are also being targeted with the view of catching them whilst they are young so that they can grow up into responsible and gender sensitive men of tomorrow to play a critical role in defending and protecting women and girls’ rights in homes, communities, schools and the country at large.” Banda said gender minister Elizabeth Phiri is expected to launch the campaign in Chongwe district’s Makoka village.

“The Minister of Gender is expected to launch the colourful campaign in Chongwe district’s Makoka village, a settlement which has high incidents of SGBV where a group of transformed men from the ZNMNGD Chongwe Chapter will also be in attendance to share their life changing testimonies regarding SGBV,” he said. “The ZNMNGD Chongwe Chapter working with the residents organised the launch in their continued effort to raise awareness and fight SGBV which is devastating families hampering productivity at household levels as women and girls have to deal with the impact of the vice.”

Banda said SGBV was a serious public health challenge, which must be dealt with starting at family level.

“We wish to agree with the recent remarks by health minister, Dr Chitalu Chilufya that SGBV is a serious public health challenge which must be dealt with starting at family level hence the trusted men campaign is targeting to reach out to the men and boys. The Zambia Police Service revelation that 6,139 GBV cases were recorded in the second quarter of 2019 out of which 583 were defilements is an indication that there is need to do more including working with men and boys as they have been left out in gender programming,” said Banda.

“We therefore wish to urge partners and like-minded organisations and individuals to support the launch of the campaign and as it is being rolled out to other districts.”

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