Zambia: GBV Tops Priority for Government

Afrobarometer has reported that gender-based violence (GBV) is the most important women’s rights issue for the government of Zambia to address.

Development Diaries reports that 36 percent of Zambian women have experienced physical violence since age 15, while 20 percent suffer sexual abuse before age 18, and 39 percent are married before age 18.

Data from the Victim Support Unit of the Zambia police also shows a 29 percent increase in GBV cases in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021, from 7,920 to 10,241.

Furthermore, 10,797 cases of GBV were recorded country-wide during the first quarter of 2023, according to the Zambia Police Service.

With the available figures, GBV in Zambia is a critical gender and human rights issue.

The factors that have left many women in the country vulnerable to GBV range from poverty, women’s power disadvantage in relationships, and social acceptance of GBV.

A recent World Bank report noted that additional work in implementing and scaling up evidence-based policies that guarantee gender equality across the intersecting dimensions of vulnerability facing women and girls in the country is needed to achieve gender parity.

Development Diaries calls on the Zambian government to harmonise the existing GBV legislation to enhance access to justice for GBV survivors.

We also call on Zambia’s Ministry of Gender and Child Development to support relevant civil society organisations (CSOs) to empower communities to develop high-impact programmes that address GBV.

Photo source: USAID in Zambia


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