Civic Society Organizations (CSOs) in Gweru have advocated for stiffer penalties for the perpetrators of all forms of GBV.
Speaking at the 16 days commemorations on 16 days of activism against violence which were held at YWCA, Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) National General Secretary Cynthia Mukamuri said the government should put stiffer measures to protect the girl child from sexual violence.
“The 9-year-old girl was forced to be a mother when she was not mature and it is heartbreaking and I think the government must look into this so that strict laws are put into place, “said Mukamuri.
The program runs from the 25th of November up to the 10th of December every year where policymakers, activists and advocates unite so that they amplify actions against GBV.
A candle lighting ceremony which symbolized hope to end GBV was also performed in remembrance of GBV victims and survivors.
Sharon Musonza, Women of Africa Zimbabwe (WOAZ) Director said the event was essential to get women, men, girls and boys to amplify their voices on GBV.
“For now both genders now have an understanding of GBV issues as organizations we continue to unite so that there is zero tolerance to GBV,” said Musonza.
Precious Mutumwa, from the Women ‘s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCOZ) alluded that decreasing violence against women and girls requires a community-based multi prolonged approach and sustained engagement with multiple stakeholders.
“One characteristic of GBV is that it knows no social or economic boundaries and affects women and girls of all socioeconomic backgrounds, “said Mutumwa.
The commemorations were celebrated under the theme “Unite Activism to end violence against women and girls “.
This comes at a time when the nation is on high alert with regard to gender based violence and sexual crimes.
Cabinet has approved amendments to the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act to introduce stiff penalties for perpetrators of sexual violence.
Rapists will be sentenced to life imprisonment or “any definite period of imprisonment of not less than 15 years”.