WITH the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence (GBV) commemorations drawing near, the Population Solutions for Health (PSH), has kick started the campaign with a Walk/Run as a way of raising awareness against GBV and all forms of violence against women and girls.
By Michael Gwarisa
The Walk/Run also observed Child Marriages which is a form of GBV and represents sexual abuse of young girls below the age of 18 years. The Walk/Run is part of the ongoing Love Shouldn’t Hurt Campaign the PSH launched in 2021 through support from the Embassy of Sweden.
In an interview with Health Times on the side-lines of the Walk/Run at Old Georgians Sports Club in Harare, Kumbirai Chatora, Director- Social Marketing at Population Solutions for Health said, “Research shows that the home is the most dangerous place for Women and girls in Zimbabwe. Because that’s where the majority of GBV cases (physical abuse, beating, rape) is happening, often, sexual abuse of young girls is perpetrated by a person that they know, that they live within the home. Through this Walk/Run, we are appealing to men’s emotion that hurting someone is never justified. Sexually abusing children and forcing girls below the age of 18 in not hunhu or part of Ubuntu.”
She added that they were encouraging everyone to Speak Out when they see GBV happening or even when someone confides in them.
Help them to report or get the necessary medical and psychosocial support that they need. They are many toll free lines available that survivors can also phone to get help. Talking about GBV should not be a once-off event that happens in November only. At PSH, we are actually commemorating the 16 Days of Activism against GBV throughout the year through the Love Shouldn’t Hurt Campaign and our clinical services because GBV and Child marriages are happening all the time and not only in November.”
While the Love Shouldn’t Hurt Campaign is a national movement owing to its wide reach through various media platforms where it’s being run, it has also received widespread support in the grassroots and GBV hot-spots through holding face to face dialogues or “Guy Talks” with men. The Love Shouldn’t Hurt campaign and the Guy Talks have empowered men to speak out and call out GBV.
“This campaign has been so successful beyond our expectations and one of the key success factors has been our work with local celebrities. As you know, we are working with the likes of Winky D, Freeman, Amara Brown, Sandra Ndebele, Holy Ten and a whole lot of other artistes and influencers and I must really thank these artistes because they have really helped to create a movement around GBV.
“This is what we had in mind when we started the campaign, we wanted men to be in the forefront of creating the moment against GBV. Men have been very forthcoming. Love Shouldn’t Hurt is now synonymous with avoiding gender. At one time, someone went to a rural village where someone was just abusing his wife and people just started shouting love shouldn’t hurt, Rudo Harurove. So this is now more like a War Cry against GBV,” added Chatora.