By Alois Vinga
A FULLY FUNDED European Union (EU) gender campaign is expected to amplify the voices of women and girls in efforts aimed at eliminating sexual violence while promoting empowerment, among other initiatives.
The programme comes when a Demographic Health Survey shows that one in three Zimbabwean women aged between 15 and 49 experience physical violence in their lifetime, while one in four experience sexual violence.
Dubbed the Spotlight Initiative, the programme kicked off on the 1st of March and will run until month end while spreading messages intended to eliminate violence against women and girls as well as facilitate discourse for action through visual and digital messages.
“In addition, the campaign includes animated and static messages in video and electronic format that highlight the fact that ending gender-based violence is everyone’s responsibility.
“The campaign will be featured on all UN in Zimbabwe social media platforms as part of the effort to make advocacy for women and girl empowerment and the fight against sexual and gender-based violence a yearlong commitment,” read the UN communique.
Other channels such as radio, television and messaging platforms will also be used to amplify the messages of the campaign and ensure widespread sharing within the public. .
The project is fully funded by the EU and will run for four years targeting, directly and indirectly, 11 million beneficiaries’ particularly rural women and girls, those living with disabilities and the HIV positive.
It also aims at ensuring that all women and girls benefitted from adequate legislation and policies, gender, responsive institutions, violence prevention programmes, essential services, comparable and reliable data, a strong social movement against violence as well as harmful practices at the national and sub-national levels.
UN resident Coordinator, Maria Ribeiro will lead the initiative alongside six other UN agencies like UN Women, International Labour Organisation, United Nations Developments Programme, United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation ,UNFPA and UNICEF in partnership with the Ministry of Women Affairs and Civil Society organisations.