Young women spread awareness during the 16 Days Against Gender Based Violence

During the 16 Days against Gender Based Violence (GBV), young women from Mashonaland Central Province have been educating their communities on gender and violence against young women and girls through their own self mobilizing initiatives.

On the 5th of December 124 people (80 females and 44 men) attended a 16 Days gathering coordinated by young women in Chikwidibe village, Guruve District. In attendance included young and elderly women and men, traditional leaders and stakeholders from line ministries to include Ministry of Women Affairs and Ministry of Youth. “We targeted the Chikwidibe community because it is a marginalised community and GBV is on the rise because of lack of awareness”, said Catherine Gora one of the young women coordinators. “It was the first time in this community to hold such an event and it was evident that information dissemination is key to deal with issues like GBV”, added Vimbai Mukawu, IYWD Dariro Executive Chairperson who was also part of the initiative.

On 6 December young women from Foothills Farm in Bindura took it to their local primary school to educate school children on gender based violence. 1 200 students, 50 parents and about 27 teachers were in attendance as young women used drama and theatre to educate the Foothills community. Sekesai Sande, a member of the IYWD who led the initiative said there are too many school drop outs in their ward because school children are being abused and teen pregnancies are on the rise because children lack information on sexual reproductive health and gender based violence. This led them to liaise with the school head at Foothills Primary and hold this event to spread awareness on GBV during the #16DaysCampaign.

Meanwhile IYWD also reached out to 67 young women and 7 men from Guruve, Shamva , Mazowe and Bindura districts as it commemorated the 16 Days in Bindura on the 29th of November 2019 under the the “Generation equality stands against rape, #OrangetheWorld”. The event was also live on Facebook and Twitter, directly reaching to about 2500 people as evidence by our social media stats (reach, likes and comments). The commemoration coincided with its 10th Anniversary as IYWD is celebrating 10 years of existence under the theme “A decade of feminist movement building, activism and authentic solidarity”. Through discussions and poems, young women at the 16 Days Commemoration also highlighted effects of rape and all other form of violence and how it affects victims, especially young women and girls. Stiff penalties for perpetrators and awareness campaigns in marginalized communities were recommended as some of measures to reduce rape and other forms of violence against women and girls.

Source: Institute for Young Women Development