In Africa, across Europe and within Asia women and girls are victims to human trafficking, femicide and intimate partner violence. Gender based violence is a global reality. It is a collective responsibility to stop child abuse; date rape and child marriage. Sexual assault is still on the peak because of people like me -individuals that mind their own business and are self-centered. It was until a spirit of advocacy birthed inside me and I became an activist to a movement, ‘Leave No One Behind: End violence against Women and Girls.’
Being part of a team that seeks to defend women and girls, I observed how as women we have been raised to be conservative and never assertive even with issues that affect our well-being. In conversations about Sexual Reproductive Health most women discarded need to negotiate for safer sex. Patriarchy has taught women to take orders never question the actions of men, whether they are being beaten or attacked verbally.
By reflecting on shared experiences women and girls vowed to be each other‘s watch dog through a sisters’ keeper oath. We took advantage of social gatherings to raise awareness on issues that affect women and girls. This was through music festivals and church congregations. Reality is men are beginning to understand the dynamics of womanhood and are partnering to stop violence against women and girls. To be sure with continuous efforts and community partnership we will end Gender Based Violence.
By Amanda Makombe
Amanda is a trainer, creative writer and girl child activist.She is a columnist for the Chitungwiza Courier Newspaper and a volleyball coach in Zimbabwe. Currently she works for Mavambo Trust as a sexual reproductive health facilitator and a child welfare officer.