'Eliminate gender-based violence'

HARARE - Elimination of gender-based violence across the world ranks high on the Danish and Australian governments’ priorities.

The sentiments came out clear and loud when Australian Embassy and the Royal Danish Embassy hosted a joint event in Harare to mark Orange Day and kick off the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence.

The two governments said they also support efforts aimed at preventing violence of all forms against young women and girls.

The event provided a platform for the donor community, embassies and women’s rights organisations to reflect on the challenges that women face and amplify the call to eliminate violence against women and girls.

In line with this year’s theme “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Make Education Safe for All”, the discussion platform explored solutions to gender violence and ways in which interventions can make a bigger impact on society’s attitudes and action.

Speaking at the event, the head of mission at the Royal Danish Embassy office, Signe Skovbakke Winding Albjerg said: “In Zimbabwe, Denmark is in partnership with Unicef and UN Women to support efforts aimed at preventing violence of all forms against young women and girls.”

She said that her government is involved in funding interventions that include strengthening the preventive and protective national frameworks by domestication of international conventions, particularly the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (Cedaw).

“In sync with this year’s theme, we are focused on providing access to critical gender and child sensitive services. These include health, welfare, legal aid and security response as well as other necessary referrals. We trust that this will go a long way in creating peace in the home and protection the rights of girls to education,” said the Danish envoy.

Speaking on the same occasion, the Australian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Suzanne Mccourt said that the elimination of gender-based violence in Australia and across the world ranks high on her government’s priorities.

She said: “Violence against women and girls is a human rights violation that limits social, political and economic participation. It has a profound and devastating impact on women, their families and communities; and it undermines a country’s social fabric as it prevents women from achieving social and economic equality and advancement.”

At a multilateral level, Australia contributes to a broad range of broad projects that include the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women.

In Zimbabwe, the Australian government supports Plan International which is running a campaign against child marriage.

According to the 2013 baseline study on violence against women in Zimbabwe, two in every three women or 68 percent reported experiencing some form of violence during their lifetime.

Orange Day is part of the UN secretary-general’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign, which proclaims every 25th day of every month as a day to raise awareness, trigger action, and drive society’s commitment on the urgent need to end violence against women and girls.

It is an extension of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence, which is observed annually from November 25 to December 10.


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