Poverty and lack of entertainment have been cited as major drivers in the rising cases of gender based violence in Epworth, a government official said.
Addressing church leaders from Epworth and Chihota who attended an inception meeting on action and advocacy against gender based violence organised by World Vision Zimbabwe, Epworth Assistant District Administrator, Linda Pindura said it is a worrying trend that Epworth continue to record high cases of gender based violence despite government efforts to eliminate the vice.
“For Epworth, an area synonymous with peace and tranquility, cases of gender based violence are being recorded daily.
“This has been largely because people are underprivileged, impoverished and lack entertainment to keep them busy. You find that most cases of GBV are as a result of frustration as the perpetrator will normally have nothing to do. Most of the cases reported are perpetrated by unemployed people who live on less than US$1 per day which is way below the poverty datum line,” said Pindura.
She added government is doing its best in trying to lower down GBV cases.
World Vision National Gender Director, Madrine Chiku said her organization has been working with church leaders in addressing gender parity and violence issues on the basis that the majority of such cases are committed within the church.
“Church leaders deal with GBV issues first hand and it is up to us to teach them on how to deal with them when they come across such issues. They are also respected and listened to hence it become important to let them lead the fight,” said Chiku.
She added that through the recently launched Gender policy, GBV cases will only get fewer but pointed out that areas like Epworth and Chihota needed urgent attention as they are recording more cases.
“Although we are in the right direction, we must also look at such hotspots like Epworth where we continue to receive a lot of cases, so we want our church leaders to lead the fight and we will achieve better results,” said Chiko.
World Vision recently combined with Union for the Development of Apostolic and Zionist Churches in Zimbabwe Africa (UDACIZA), in formulating a gender policy to guide apostolic churches fight gender based violence.
Church leaders who attended the meeting paid homage to World Vision Gender department for coming up with such a program.
Pastor Katsande from AFM church said “what world vision is doing is empowering us as church leaders to help in the fight against gender Violence. It is us as church leaders who spend time with these people hence we can always find a way to help them.”
Captain Mudzingwa from Salvation Army said “We thank World Vision for such a program and we believe it will bear fruits.”