Anti-GBV campaign crippled by finance — Muchena

HARARE - Gender and Community Development minister Olivia Muchena said on Saturday the budgetary allocation to her ministry was insufficient to launch a comprehensive campaign against gender-based violence (GBV).

Muchena was speaking in Harare at the commemorations of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the ensuing 16 days of activism against GBV.

The 16 day-campaign against GBV, starting November 25, is commemorated every year around the world to raise awareness and trigger action on this pervasive human rights violation.

Muchena launched a five-year national gender-based violence strategy (NGBVS) for 2012 to 2015 yesterday, to promote awareness among Zimbabweans, but said the campaign risked being hamstrung by lack of finance.

Her ministry received only $2,5 million out of the $3,8 billion national budget for 2013.

“The meagre resources allocated by government are not enough to improve awareness and effectively disseminate information to the vulnerable. The ministry is mainly dependent on private-public partnerships to run,” Muchena said.

She said despite the meagre allocation, her ministry will pursue public-private sector partnerships to eliminate GBV.

 “To effectively prevent and respond to GBV, a multi-sectoral and inter-agency approach is needed and the NGBVS provides the platform for awareness promotion.” said Muchena.

In his budget presentation, Finance minister Tendai Biti said government recognises women as essential to the realisation of food security, as well as formal labour across various industries.

‘‘Implementing the national gender policy through mainstreaming gender budgeting, reconstitution of gender focal persons, capacity strengthening, and dealing with GBV through strengthening of requisite institutions is government’s way of intervening to eliminate GBV,” Biti said.

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