Love Shouldn’t Hurt Campaign Launched

THE Population Solutions for Health, an organization that spearheads innovation around Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) and HIV has launched a campaign against gender-based violence called Love Shouldn’t hurt that is aimed at reducing intimate partner violence through engaging male peers to act as change makers in raising awareness against Gender Based Violence (GBV).

By Patricia Mashiri

Amongst the peers who have been engaged are Winky D, Holy Ten, Seh Calaz, Roki, Albert Nyathi footballer Hardlife Zvirekwi and Ammara Brown.

Speaking during the launch, Honourable Jenifer Mhlanga, Deputy Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development said government was confident of attaining a free GBV country through partnerships with organizations like Population Solutions for Health.

A community without GBV is a thriving community, people do not lose productive time because they are suffering from the effects of abuse, people are happy and focused on making their community a happy place.

“All this can only be achieved if we directly tackle the notion that women are not lesser human beings than men and that men cannot discipline women using physical force and that women are not objects that can be sexually violated,” said Honorable Mhlanga.

The Swedish Ambassador to Zimbabwe Represented  the Deputy Head of Mission for the Embassy of Sweden, Professor Berthollet Kaboru, said The Embassy was committed to supporting programs that advance gender equality to reduce gender based violence in Zimbabwe.

“Approximately 1 in 2 women report having ever experienced emotional, physical or sexual abuse from the current or former husband or boyfriend This means that women in relationships are being hurt by the very person that is supposed to love them and protect them.

“It is essential now more than ever to implement campaigns to reduce the incidence of intimate partner violence which has been increasing since the COVID-19 lockdown measures where couples spent more time indoors and economic pressures on the household have increased,” said Prof Kaboru

He added that men and boys were should be engaged  and be champions or advocates of
behavior change. 

“We need men to be in the forefront of creating and maintaining this dialogue to help perpetrators of violence to adopt positive conflict resolution and anger management skills.”

According to World Health Organization (WHO), GBV takes many forms which comprises of rape, forced early marriages, trafficking and female genital mutilation among others. GBV can result in physical harm, death and even psychological harm.

Dr Noah Tarubereka, Population Solutions for Health Executive Director said, “The campaign is ground breaking in engaging men in a non-stigmatizing manner. We hope through this campaign, men will start asking themselves how they can contribute in their own spaces to prevent violence at home.” He said.

Statistics shows that in Zimbabwe about one in three women aged 15-49 have experienced physical violence and about one in four women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15.

 

 

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