Pretoria- Wednesday 29th November 2023
Chief Madzimawe of the Ngoni people of Eastern Province says violence against women and girls remains a pervasive issue across the African continent and needs the concerted efforts of Governments in putting up mechanisms at national, regional, and continental level to end the vice.
Speaking at the just ended 3rd African Union Men’s Conference on Positive Masculinity in Leadership to End Violence Against Women and Girls which was taking place in South Africa, the traditional leader says there is a need to share success stories on best practices if the fight is to be won.
He notes that violence against women is affecting millions of lives and hindering social progress and comes in the form of rape, femicide, child marriages, as well as female genital mutilation, adding that religion and culture in some instances have remained key drivers to these social norms.
Chief Madzimawe said the conference was an important platform to assess progress made by different stakeholders across sectors as it provides an opportunity to consolidate bold continental efforts taken towards ending violence against women and girls on the African continent.
He said the Zambian Government has been engaging the civil society, researchers, traditional leaders, youth organisations, the community and the private sector on ending violence against women.
Chief Madzimawe called for operationalisation of the commitment to institutionalise a structure for a systematic and continuous engagement with traditional and religious leaders, including the strategic participation and interaction of Heads of State and various Africa Union champions together with the implementation of the Dakar mechanisms as adopted in the call to action
He said commitments through the declaration and recommendations should amplify culture and religion as part of the solution.
“We are also committed to promoting positive masculinity in Africa by bringing the African man back to the original respect of an African woman as a mother to humankind. We must reclaim positive African cultures that protect rights, dignity, and Ubuntu,” Chief Madzimawe said.
And Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa Her Excellency Ms Mazuba Monze commended efforts by the Chief in ending violence against women and girls. She said the conference served as a forum to share information, approaches that can promote the empowerment of girls and women in society.
The conference provided an opportunity to consolidate the bold efforts that the Heads of State and other sectors have taken towards ending violence against women and girls on the continent including accountability for the implementation of the Kinshasa Declaration and the decisions made at the 2023 February Heads of State and Government Conference, to negotiate an AU Convention on ending violence against women and girls.
Once adopted,it will be the first continental legal instrument to prevent and eliminate Violence against women and girls.
This is contained in a statement issued by first Secretary for Press and Public Relations at Zambia’s High Commission in South African Tamara Nyirenda.