Shamwari YeMwanasikana has conferred awards to male role models who champion Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and the eradication of Gender Based Violence (GBV).
By Patricia Mashiri
The awards were held as part of the commemorations of the 16 days of activism against gender based violence which starts on 25 November and ends on 16 December, under the theme #Oranging the world, end violence against women now.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, the guest of honor Mr Stephen Nyaruwata who is the Acting Director Ministry of Women Affairs Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development who was standing in for the Minister applauded Shamwari yeMwanasikana for implementing a program that give other organizations and entities lessons to end GBV.
Globally it is now recognized that male involvement in the work on Gender Equality, Women Empowerment and the fight against GBV is something that we should pay attention to. You will recall the UN Women HE for SHE Campaign which we embraced as Government. My Ministry has also worked on male engagement with Padare and other organizations to inculcate a culture of positive masculinities.
“This year, the African Union Commission has organized an African men’s Conference which is scheduled to take place on the 25th of November the day when the 16 days of Activism starts. It is therefore befitting ladies and gentlemen for us to shower all accolades to the Shamwari yemwanasikana programme for being in sync with global, continental and national efforts. The involvement of males and the conferring of awards to male role models is therefore a step in the right direction,” said Mr Nyaruwata
According to statistics, majority of perpetrators of domestic violence are men and perpetrators can be either young, troubled, unemployed and that they might have experienced abuse growing up.
Ekenia Chifamba, Director, Shamwari yeMwanasikana said the program was to honor male champions who had done extremely well in making a difference towards creating safe spaces for women and girls.
“The male played a role in ensuring that we change the narrative, time and conversa- tions towards how we view women and girls. We continue to call upon all stakeholders to come together to work towards the empowerment of young girls and women in ensuring that we end any form of violence,” said Chifamba.
She added that engaging men would create a generation of men who are change makers and transformers who can also engage other men at community level where the rights of a girl child are exposed or violated.
Meanwhile, Florence Mutake, Programs Coordinator Shamwari yeMwanasikana said they came to the decision that they should include men in their programs due to increased Gender based violence (GBV) cases and mostly men were perpetrators.
“What made us come to the point of including men in our day to day programing is the fact that we realized that statistics of GBV, sexual reproductive health violations or sexual gender violence were on the increase and mainly in such instances, we would find men being pointed as the perpetrators of these violations.
“We understood and appreciated that we may empower the girl child to respond actively in acts of violations but without the inclusion of men in the positioning of rapid response and prevention of GBV, we realised that we were fighting a war that kept widening the gap in inclusion of men and boys. We resolved to include men and boys as a way of propelling them as active agents of change and community influencers to other men,” said Mutake.