Women in Zambia have challenged Government to rigidly punish perpetrators of Gender Based Violence (GBV) saying it is the only way to stop would-be- offenders.
Speaking in an interview with Lusaka Star, Mary Chipango a Lukulu resident said it is unfair for someone to serve a minimal jail term or be fined when victims of GBV are tormented their entire lives.
“Government should ensure that no one should be fined for a GBV related case”, she said.
Another resident, Josephine Phiri said it is sad that GBV which can be two sided is commonly becoming a feminine term in Zambia.
“Matters surrounding GBV today nearly means violence against women because they are always the ones crying. And I think the only way to stop this is by slamming a life imprisonment term on offenders”, Ms Phiri said.
Another woman who sought anonymity said she is a victim of GBV and she would not mind seeing her husband imprisoned if that can make him a better person.
And Minister of Gender and Child Development Inonge Wina said human beings are equal and it is unfortunate that women are being discriminated against and marginalised in many ways.
“It is unfortunate that men want to perpetuate issues of GBV in the name of tradition because some traditions still encouraging practices that discriminate women like property grabbing, sexual cleansing and early marriages,” she said.
She said this during the launch of the 16 days of activism against GBV which is being celebrated under the theme, GBV: Zero Tolerance Now.
Hon. Wina said despite government putting in measures to address matters of GBV, the vice still seems to be on the increase each year.
“Everyone should watch out for any signs of GBV before they are manifested to the public eye. As a nation we should to rise to the challenge of GBV as matters surrounding it has the potential to ruin the moral fibre,” she said.