COVID-19 brings new narrative to GBV

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The COVID-19 pandemic has become a source factor of gender-based violence in Zimbabwe
The COVID-19 pandemic has become a source factor of gender-based violence in Zimbabwe

Herzel Mushayabasa/Sharon Chikwanha

An increase in child marriages and teenage pregnancies during the global COVID-19 pandemic has brought another twist to gender-based violence, it has emerged.

Speakers during a Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women consultative and validation workshop in Harare on Thursday revealed that the scourge had become a new challenge to the implementation of CEDAW.

The COVID-19 pandemic, stakeholders said, should be part of the GBV narrative at all levels.

CEDAW is an international legal instrument that requires countries to eliminate discrimination against women and girls in all areas and promotes women’s and girls’ equal rights.

The United Nations describes it as international bill of rights for women which is one of the key international agreements that guides the work of UN Women in achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls.

UN Women in Zimbabwe representative, Dorothy Mushayavanhu said the COVID-19 pandemic should be part of the GBV narrative.

“We cannot continue to talk of gender-based violence as though COVID-19 never happened when in actual fact, COVID has changed the way we do business. فريق البير ميونخ

“Child marriages and teen pregnancies are now new emerging issues thus new language with the coming of COVID-19 pandemic,” she said. كاس يورو 2024

Mushavanhu said COVID-19 lockdowns, curfews and other restrictions increased risk of GBV with women and girls as the victims.

She also called on State parties to adopt and implement special measures while engaging women’s participation in decision making. في اي نادي يلعب كريستيانو رونالدو

Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development secretary Melusi Matshiya highlighted government’s roles in the elimination of GBV during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

He also applauded the UN Women for being the backbone of government’s programmes.

“The United Nations contribution towards the advancement of Zimbabwean women must never be underestimated,” he said.

Matshiya also acknowledged the measures put in place to end all kinds of violence against women and girls.

“The Committee welcomes the measures taken by the State party to combat gender-based violence against women, such as the establishment of the Anti-Domestic Violence Council,” he said.

Also established were three one-stop centres for victims of violence and the adoption of the National Programme on Gender-based Violence Prevention and Response 2016-2020.

The initiatives also include the Victim Friendly System, which is a coordinated response towards sexual abuse and violence.

CEDAW was founded December 18, 1979 to protect women from discrimination and promoting their empowerment.

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