Hearing the theme of the 16 days of activism against gender based violence this year - ‘From peace in the home to peace in the world: make education safe for all’ reminded me of a girl irecently met, Mwakaita is her name, she is 20 years old. A bright, vivacious young woman, who never really got a fair deal in this world. She is a divorcee with a beautiful 4 year old daughter. I asked why she got married so early, because to me she was far too young to be a divorced mother. This is her story as she narrated it to me:
During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence, activists around the world rally together to raise awareness on gender equality, and, more specifically, violence against women and girls; the effects on their victims’ lives; what can be done to protect them; and how to prevent violence. Organisations are involved in different activities, road shows, radio/tv programmes, newspaper supplements, social media, and interaction with the public amongst others to highlight how violence impacts women and girls and the need to end this scourge.
Zimbabwe’s launch of 16 days of activism against gender based abuse has taken on different dimensions this year.
At the UN’s official launch of the annual campaign attendees draped themselves in scarves of orange – the colour the UN has chosen to mark action against violence. At this launch the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, said governments needed to step up their support of women’s movements and civil society groups to address what is a human rights violation, a health concern and a major obstacle to development.