Gender-based violence continues to threaten the lives of millions of women and girls throughout the world. In Zimbabwe, approximately one in every three women aged 15 to 49 has experienced physical abuse, and approximately one in every four women has experienced sexual violence since the age of 15. Beyond the negative effects of gender-based violence on survivors, it is also damaging to economic and social structures’ development.
The Zimbabwe Women’s Bureau (ZWB), a MenEngage Zimbabwe member, and the Global Fund for Women launched a project to eliminate gender inequalities, violence, and poverty affecting women’s well-being in Mutoko District, Mashonaland East Province.
From May 24th to May 26th, 2022, the Zimbabwe Women’s Bureau held a workshop on achieving gender equality and economic empowerment to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals: eradicating poverty, attaining gender equality, reducing inequality, increasing food security, and mitigating climate change.
The workshop also addressed crucial issues affecting rural women, such as detrimental norms ingrained by society’s patriarchal nature through workshops on gender equality and violence against women.
Participants included government officials, Zimbabwe Republic Police, women, men and local leaders who are now advocating for behavioural change at household level and in customary courts. Mr Sydney Nyastine, a councillor, and the village headman are leading by example by assisting their wives in doing house chores and farm work.
Women participating in the project confirmed that they are benefiting greatly from acquired knowledge, improving smart climate agricultural practices, labour-saving technologies, market linkages increasing agricultural productivity and income.