Outdated beliefs fueling gender based violence against women says foreign diplomat  |

By Darlington Gatsi

SOCIETAL beliefs and stereotypes are the centre of perpetuating gender-based violence (GBV) against women and children, a foreign diplomat has said.

Zimbabwe will join the world in commemorating the 16 days against GBV next week, shining light on the vices of the scourge.

Netherlands ambassador to Zimbabwe Margret Verwijk says GBV has exposed women and children to vulnerability and marginalising them.

“Violence against women and girls does not happen in a vacuum. There are layers to it, starting with outdated beliefs about gender roles, negative stereotypes, dangerous stigma, exclusion from education and other services, economic marginalisation and more.

“All forms of inequality make girls and women more vulnerable to violence and abuse, and so we support initiatives for socio-economic and political inclusion, from the grassroots up,” said Ambassador Verwijk.

As part of kickstarting GBV awareness campaign more than thirty civil society organisations and gender equality activists will come together on November 28 for the Unite Equality Expo at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe.

The one-day event will include displays by various organisations and activists, artworks, interactive side events, and performances.

“The fight to end gender-based violence has been going on for years. But girls and women are still disproportionately affected by violence and abuse, which has a serious negative impact on not just the individuals, but families, communities and the fabric of society.

“This event will celebrate the inspiring people doing this critical work and create linkages that can spark new partnerships and innovation. There will be displays on agriculture, creative arts, business, IT, the environment, and a lot more” she said.

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