The Non-governmental Organisation Coordinating Committee (NGOCC ) has appealed to government to put in place a clear gender machinery to drive the Gender Agenda in the country.
NGOCC North Western Province Chairperson Sheila Mbilishi said her organisation is concerned with the lack of a clear direction particularly in the provinces where gender issues are being left to chance by government.
Ms. Mbilishi states that there is need to elaborate gender machinery at provincial and district levels in order to help in the fight against SGBV.
She said this will also help build on the gains made by the country to narrow the Gender, Equity and Equality Act (GEEA) more specifically the establishment of the Gender Commission.
She stated ending violence against women and girls needs effective laws and implementation as much as it needs strong policies, funding for essential services and for organisations responding to the crisis as well as cultural change.
“We call upon government to immediately facilitate for the review of the 2016 constitution and further facilitate the holding of a national referendum that will provide for the inclusion of an expanded Bill of Rights in the constitution, “said Ms. Mbilishi.
She said the inclusion of the expanded Bill of Rights remains key to the well being of women, girls and boys at large.
Ms. Mbilishi was speaking during the launch of the 16 days of Activism against Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Solwezi.
And Ms. Mbilishi said despite a slight reduction in GBV cases reported this year, the vice still remains a big challenge in the country.
She disclosed that according to statistics produced by the Zambia Police, a total of 4,042 cases of GBV were reported countrywide during the third quarter of 2020 showing a reduction of about 578 cases translating to a 12.5 % reduction.
For North Western Province, Ms. Mbilishi revealed that the region recorded a reduction of about 22 % from 472 to 368 cases with women and children as victims of the most abused.
“These statistics clearly shows that girls and women remain the most impacted by the scourge,” she said.
And Solwezi district commissioner Tiki Mulofwa said GBV will generally become acceptable in society if all stakeholders fail to play a part in stopping it.
He revealed that the Anti-GBV task force team and other stakeholders will be carrying out sensitisation activities against GBV across the district during the 16 days.
Meanwhile, Kansanshi Mining Plc has committed itself to continue supporting activities aimed at fighting GBV in the district.
Kansanshi Mine Public Relations manager Godfrey Msiska said the mining firm will continue financing activities at the One Stop Center run by the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) at Solwezi General Hospital.