THE Zambia National Men’s Network for Gender and Development says it is concerned over the escalating Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) cases in the country based on statistics released quarterly by the Zambia Police Service.
National coordinator Nelson Banda said statistics for the last two quarters of this year had not been any different and presents a worrying trend which if left unchecked possess a huge threat on the rights of women and girls and the realisation of their full potential to engage in social and economic development of the country.
“In the first and second quarters of the year 4,254 and 4,324 cases of SGBV respectively were reported countrywide, bringing the total to 8,578 cases in just six months. This figure is extremely high and unacceptable and presents a message that more needs to be done to safeguard women and girls in the country,” he said. “We fear to imagine what the SGBV statistics will be as we close the year 2021. Therefore, to stem and curtail this worrying trend the Zambia National Men’s Network for Gender and Development (ZNMNGD) is calling on men to lead the fight against GBV as men are the main perpetrators of the scourge.”
Banda said reaching out to men and boys remains the most sustainable solution, which would ultimately see women and girls’ rights respected and upheld once men turn from being perpetrators to protectors.
He said to build more men’s voices against GBV, the ZNMNGD would on September 15 and 16, 2021 hold the first ever Men’s Indaba against GBV in Lusaka, whose theme is ‘securing the involvement of men in the fight against gender based violence’.
Banda said the Indaba would be attended by men from diverse backgrounds including, the Church, media and corporate sector to discuss and strategise on male involvement in the fight and what measures must be employed to reach men in their spaces to end Gender Based Violence.